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U.S. Citizen Jailed By Ethiopians

ISSUE 257
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Index
Headlines

Eighteen butchers get six months in prison for demonstrating against Mayor Ji'ir

Swedish Gov’t To Treat Somaliland As Self-Governing Entity

African Press Needs Help Against Oppression

Arab League To End Somaliland’s Isolation

Candle Light Vigil For Eight Remaining Ethiopian Captives, Free Europeans Leave For Britain

Should The World Legitimize The Independence Of Somaliland?

Accidental Blast Kills 9 Near Mogadishu - Police

Another Journalist Arrested In Hargeysa

"We would not cross swords on this": PM Meles

Mission Report on the Trial Observation of Detained Human Rights Defenders
in Somaliland

Regional Affairs

U.S. Citizen Jailed By Ethiopians

Up To 40,000 Civilians Flee Mogadishu

Editorial
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International News

Iran to Sell Oil in euros and other currencies

The liberal war on democracy

Greek coast guard finds further bodies after refugee boat tragedy

Why is the US press silent on Brzezinski’s warnings of war against Iran?

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: The Official Legend of 9/11 is a Fabricated Setup

Murder of Human Rights Activists Prompts UN Condemnation

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

Somalia: Back to perpetual war

PRECIS: OBSTACLES TO PEACE IN SOMALIA

Smoldering In Somalia

Somalia - James Swan To The Baltimore CFR

Oromo Manifestations challenge Abyssinian Dictator Meles Zenawiy

Food for thought

Opinions

BBC Somali Section Head – Yusuf Garad Is The Remaining Warlord

Mr. President, Back Off From Your Self-Defeating Mission: And Reform Your Leadership and Administration

Dear Mr. President: Please Release My Father!

Somaliland Needs Salvation, What Should Be Done To Save It?

Progress in Somalia: A Myth or Reality?

If Ghana Dares To Recognize Somaliland, Will Southern Politician Scream?

What A Nightmare Scenario!

Petition For Impeachment Of Dahir Rayale Kahin


He had been caught in Kenya fleeing the fighting in Somalia. U.S. officials allowed him to be returned

By Jonathan S. Landay and Shashank Bengali,

NAIROBI, KENYA, March 16, 2007 - A U.S. citizen who was caught fleeing the recent fighting in Somalia was questioned about links to Al-Qaida by the FBI in Kenya, then quietly sent back to the ravaged country, where he was turned over to Ethiopian forces.

Amir Mohamed Meshal, 24, is now imprisoned in Ethiopia, where the State Department's 2006 human rights report says "conditions in prisons and pre-trial detention centers remain very poor."

FBI agents began visiting him regularly last week, a U.S. official said.

A U.S. official who met Meshal in Kenya but wasn't authorized to discuss his case publicly said that the U.S. Embassy asked Kenya to release Meshal so he could return to the United States. There are no outstanding charges against Meshal, and U.S. law enforcement officials weren't planning to take him into custody, the official said.

"The Kenyan authorities decided otherwise. It's not something we have control over," the official said.

State Department spokesman Tom Casey said the United States has protested Meshal's deportation.

Human rights groups in Kenya and the United States, however, disputed the contention that U.S. officials were powerless to win Meshal's release from Kenyan custody before he was deported.

"Anyone who tells you that the United States doesn't have the clout to convince the Kenyans to return an American citizen is either misinformed or lying," said John Sifton of Human Rights Watch, in New York.

U.S. aid beneficiaries

Kenya and Ethiopia are key allies in the U.S. battle against Islamic extremism in Africa, and President Bush has requested more than $1 billion in aid for the two countries in fiscal 2008, making them among the largest recipients of U.S. aid in Africa.

A spokesman for the Kenyan government had no immediate comment.

Meshal's treatment contrasts sharply with that of four British citizens who were caught fleeing the fighting, and of Daniel Joseph Maldonado, another U.S. citizen who fled Somalia and was arrested for entering Kenya illegally.

The four Britons were turned over to British officials, sent home and freed after they were questioned. U.S. authorities obtained custody of Maldonado and his two children from Kenya, flew them back to the United States and charged him in Texas with undergoing military and bomb-making training with Al-Qaida in Somalia.

The difference, said two other U.S. officials who are familiar with the case but also weren't authorized to discuss it publicly, is that Maldonado quickly confessed to involvement with Al-Qaida and Meshal didn't. So while Maldonado could be brought home and imprisoned until his trial, one of the officials said, there wasn't sufficient evidence to charge Meshal and keep him in jail in the United States.

Two U.S. officials in Washington, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Meshal was turned over to Ethiopian forces in Somalia and is being held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Source: McClatchy News Service

 


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