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Posts tagged Gulet Mohamed

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Aggressive FBI Interrogation of US Teen in Kuwait Raises Concerns


By Daphne Eviatar

Last week I wrote about an American teenager who says he was detained, beaten and sleep-deprived in Kuwait after he was placed on a U.S. no-fly list based on his travels to Yemen. Today, Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times, who first reported the story, provides chapter two. It turns out that the Somali-American 19-year-old, Gulet Mohamed, yesterday was aggressively interrogated by FBI agents at the Kuwaiti prison, according to Mazzetti. The interrogation became so hostile, Mazzetti reports, that Kuwaiti officials felt compelled to intervene to stop the interrogation.

Nick Baumann at Mother Jones heard and reported on the same story yesterday from Mohamed’s U.S.-based lawyer, Gadeir Abbas. Abbas says that the FBI agents insisted on continuing the interrogation even though they’d handed Mohamed a sheet of paper listing his Miranda rights and Mohamed said that he did not want to speak without his lawyer.

More through link.

(this is a few days old, I’m flushing out my que because it was messed up.)

I’m glad someone other than Greenwald is finally picking this story up.

(Source: , via silas216)

Filed under Gulet Mohamed

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The U.S. role in Gulet Mohamed's detention

Last night, the Kuwaiti deportation officers took Gulet, along with the ticket, to the airport and were prepared to send him back to the U.S.  But when he attempted to board the plane, he was told that he was barred from doing so.  According to Mohad, no reason was given, but it is presumably due to the U.S.’s placement of him on the no-fly list (which State Department officials, to The New York Times, previously confirmed they had done).  As a result, Gulet — thinking he was finally headed home — instead was returned to his detention facility, where he remains, and his prospects for release are now very unclear.

What’s going on here is a pure travesty.  As an American citizen, Gulet has the absolute right to return to and re-enter his country.  But by secretly placing him on the no-fly list while he was halfway around the world — and providing no information about why he was so placed — the U.S. Government is denying him his right to return.  Worse, they know that this action is not only preventing him from returning, but is keeping the 19-year-old in a state of absolute legal limbo, where’s he imprisoned by a country that admits it has no cause for holding him and does not want to hold him, yet which cannot release him.  The U.S. government has the obligation to assist its citizens when they end up detained without cause; here, they are doing the opposite:  they’re deliberately ensuring it continues. 

If there’s any evidence that he has has done anything wrong, he should be charged, indicted, and brought back to the U.S. for trial.  What the Obama administration is doing instead is accomplishing what they could not do if he were in the U.S.:  holding him without a shred of due process, interrogating him without a lawyer present, and — if his credible claims are to believed — using beatings and torture to get the information it wants (or false information:  Gulet told me he was very tempted to falsely confess to make the beatings stop).  This abuse of the no-fly list is a common tactic used by the U.S. Government to circumvent all legal and constitutional constraints when it comes to its own citizens; this case just happens to be extra viscerally repellent. 

The law is being used to protect the powerful and exploit the weak.

Filed under Gulet Mohamed glenn greenwald

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Update on Gulet Mohamed

Yesterday, Mohamed’s lawyer told me that while American officials do nothing to help him (and much to ensure his ongoing detention), Mohamed was visited again by FBI agents and “interrogated aggressively for hours despite repeated requests that the interrogation stop until his counsel is present.”  He added that “at one point during the interrogation, the two agents started screaming and yelling at Gulet inches from his person,” and that “a Kuwaiti official actually intervened at this point and directed the agents to calm down and not treat Gulet like they were.”  As he put it:  ”Gulet has to rely on agents of the government that probably executed his torture to protect him from his country of citizenship.”  The photograph of Mohamed in detention was taken by his brother yesterday.  A letter sent by Mohamed’s lawyer to the Attorney General regarding the details of the FBI’s conduct is here.

If Mohamed is guilty of anything, then he ought to be charged and prosecuted.  Forcing this 19-year-old to remain imprisoned and subjected to ongoing interrogations without the slightest explanation — particularly after the ordeal to which he was subjected — is a true travesty.  Denying his  constitutional right to return to his own country through a secret, unexplained placement on the no-fly list is even worse.  The American government has the obligation to assist its citizens in these circumstances, but in this case is doing precisely the opposite.   His attorney has written another letter to the Attorney General, but it appears as though legal action is necessary to redress his plight.

I wonder why this isn’t getting more attention.  An American citizen who hasn’t even been charged with a crime has been kidnapped, tortured and refused passage home by the US Government.  Though they refuse to bring him home, they send investigators to interrogate him because they couldn’t get away with it inside the US.  He wouldn’t have even been allowed a lawyer if his cell-mate hadn’t snuck a cell phone in.  It’s absolutely despicable.  

Filed under Greenwald Gulet Mohamed human rights

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US teenager still held after torture, not allowed to return home

Last Thursday, I wrote about and interviewed Gulet Mohamed, the 18-year-old Somali-born American citizen who described how he was abducted in Kuwait by unknown authorities, blindfolded and taken to an unknown location, and then interrogated, beaten and tortured for the next week (he has since turned 19).  After he was moved to a new facility to be deported, he was able to speak with the outside world, including me, only by virtue of a cellphone which a fellow detainee had illicitly smuggled in and allowed him to use; if not for that, it’s quite possible that nobody, including his family, would be aware of his detention.

Mohamed — who has been charged with no crime — remains in a deportation facility in Kuwait without any idea of when, how or where he will be released.  The Kuwaitis are perfectly willing to release him back to the U.S., but the U.S. has prevented this by placing him on a no-fly list, and both his family and his lawyer insist that it is American authorities responsible for his detention, due to a desire to interrogate him.

Greenwald interviews the lawyer through the link.

Filed under Greenwald Due Process Gulet Mohamed torture