Sameh Khouzam, left, with local activist and friend of the ACLU Kathleen Lucas
With his stay scheduled to run out on Thursday, Sameh Khouzam is still in great peril and still in detention at York County Prison, but the ball is rolling. Some great work by some great folks, including but not limited to my colleagues from the ACLU of PA and the ACLU, has gotten the word out there about what is happening to Sameh and the Bush administration’s partnership in torture with the Egyptians.
We sent out this press release this afternoon and have already received hits from the AP and UPI. The AP story was even picked up my media outlets in Israel and France. Since the press release is only ten hours old, we’ll surely get some more coverage tomorrow.
The legal team is hard at work in the courts, and we have to keep the pressure on our public officials! To his great credit, Rep. Joe Pitts and his staff have been working it from their end. Now that we’ve had a few days to figure out who to contact, we’re adding a few additional contacts. Please call the Department of State at 202-647-4000 and Immigration and Customs Enforcement at 202-282-8000. These are the public comment lines. The message is simple:
The United States is a signatory to the Convention Against Torture. Under this treaty, the United States has an obligation to not send a person to a country where he/she will be tortured, which is the very outcome that a U.S. federal court found would occur if Sameh were sent back to Egypt.
Every bit of public pressure helps.
Update- Tuesday, 2:55pm: The message to State should be directed to John Bellinger, legal counsel to Secretary Rice, and the message to ICE should be directed to Julie Myers, the head of ICE.