Month: February 2019

022619-Islamic_State_Bride_Alabama

022619-Islamic_State_Bride_Alabama

WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Washington has agreed to move quickly on a lawsuit filed by a former Alabama woman who joined the Islamic State and wants to return to the United States.

The family of 24-year-old Hoda Muthana filed suit last week against the Trump administration after the government said she wasn’t a citizen and wouldn’t be allowed to enter the U.S. with her 18-month-old son.

Her family sought expedited action on her suit because Muthana is now in a refugee camp in Syria.

Judge Reggie Walton granted that Tuesday and scheduled a hearing for Monday.

The U.S. determined Muthana wasn’t a citizen because her father was a Yemeni diplomat when she was born in New Jersey. But her lawyers say he was no longer a diplomat at the time.

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source https://canoe.com/news/world/judge-to-consider-return-for-woman-who-joined-islamic-state

By The Wall of Law February 27, 2019 Off

California officials: Immigration facilities lack oversight

SAN FRANCISCO — Detainees confined to federal immigration detention facilities located in California have inadequate access to health care, lawyers and family, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Tuesday.

Becerra was discussing the findings of a 147-page report prepared by his office that also found that detainees face long periods of confinement without breaks and language barriers in the 10 detention facilities state authorities inspected in 2017.

Becerra said the annual report released Tuesday is the first of 10 that the state Legislature requires of the California Department of Justice, which is tasked with inspecting all federal immigration detention facilities in the state. That law was one of three immigration-related “sanctuary state” bills passed in 2017 that the Trump administration unsuccessfully challenged in court.

Inspectors spent one day on scheduled visits at 10 facilities in operation in 2017. ICE contracted with four for-profit prison companies and six county sheriffs to house and care for the inmates.

Since then and amid growing protests, sheriffs in Sacramento and Contra Costa counties terminated their contracts with ICE to house federal immigration inmates in the local jails. A third facility near Bakersfield is also facing closure after the city of McFarland told ICE it would not renew its contract when it expires in March.

Becerra said many of the problems are caused by inadequate federal oversight. He said a common “challenge” inspectors found at most facilities included confining inmates to their cells for up to 22 hours a day. He noted that most of the detainees are not accused of crimes and are awaiting court decisions on their immigration status.

ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley said the private prison companies and county jails that house detainees “must meet rigorous performance standards.”

“The safety, rights and health of detainees in ICE’s care are of paramount concern and all ICE detention facilities are subject to stringent, regular inspections,” Haley said.

The attorney general’s report estimated that 74,000 immigrant detainees have been held in California detention centres over a three-year period ending in 2017 with an average stay of 50 days per inmate. Becerra said the state inspections of federal immigration facilities in California were necessary “because everyone in this country has constitutional rights and everyone at the end of the day — child and adult — deserve to be treated in a human way.”

In a separate report , California’s state auditor Elaine Howle said cities and counties failed to properly monitor the facilities in their locales. Howle’s report also called on ICE to be more transparent in its detention operations.

“The state lacks complete information about how much it costs and what conditions the detainees face,” Howle’s report concluded. “Also unclear are how many detainees are being held throughout California, where they are being held, and for how long.”

Paul Elias, The Associated Press

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source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/02/26/california-officials-immigration-facilities-lack-oversight/

By The Wall of Law February 27, 2019 Off

Judge to consider return for woman who joined Islamic State

WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Washington has agreed to move quickly on a lawsuit filed by a former Alabama woman who joined the Islamic State and wants to return to the United States.

The family of 24-year-old Hoda Muthana filed suit last week against the Trump administration after the government said she wasn’t a citizen and wouldn’t be allowed to enter the U.S. with her 18-month-old son.

Her family sought expedited action on her suit because Muthana is now in a refugee camp in Syria.

Judge Reggie Walton granted that Tuesday and scheduled a hearing for Monday.

The U.S. determined Muthana wasn’t a citizen because her father was a Yemeni diplomat when she was born in New Jersey. But her lawyers say he was no longer a diplomat at the time.

The Associated Press

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source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/02/26/judge-to-consider-return-for-woman-who-joined-islamic-state/

By The Wall of Law February 27, 2019 Off

Pamir Hakimzadah, Toronto Man Who Tried To Join ISIL, Could Spend 6 Years In Prison

Old city hall of Toronto, Ontario, Canada with a Canadian flag and pole on the foreground.

TORONTO — Ontario prosecutors want a Toronto man who tried to join Islamic State militants in Syria to spend six years behind bars, while his defence team is pushing for a sentence of about half that given what they say is their client’s commitment to deradicalization.

Pamir Hakimzadah, 29, pleaded guilty earlier this month to one count of leaving Canada to participate in a terrorist activity.

His lawyer, Luka Rados, argued for a sentence of three years and seven months plus three years probation at a sentencing hearing held Tuesday in Toronto. That would allow for Hakimzadah’s immediate release after he receives credit for time already spent in custody since his June 2016 arrest.

Court heard that Hakimzadah left Toronto in October 2014 and flew to Istanbul with the goal of finding a way into Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Hakimzadah to join ‘deradicalization program’

He was turned in to local authorities by a taxi driver in Turkey who suspected Hakimzadah wanted to join the terrorist group, and was sent back to Canada. A family member then turned him over to police two years later. Hakimzadah admitted he viewed Islamic State militant propaganda videos online and became sympathetic to their viewpoint.

In arguing for a shorter sentence, Rados outlined his client’s commitment to a deradicalization program that would involve “spiritual and psychiatric counselling.”

The defence has lined up programs with two imams in Vaughan, Ont., who have been involved with deradicalizing members of the “Toronto 18” group who planned a series of terrorist attacks in southern Ontario in 2006. Hakimzadah would also meet regularly with a psychiatrist, Rados said.

“Mr. Hakimzadah is 29 years old, a first time federal offender,” Rados told the court. “He had turned 25 at the time of the offence. He’s at an interesting age, not so young and highly impressionable or manipulatable, but not so old he can’t turn his life around dramatically.”

He’s at an interesting age, not so young and highly impressionable or manipulatable, but not so old he can’t turn his life around dramatically.Luka Rados, lawyer

Crown attorney Christopher Walsh was dubious of the defence’s deradicalization plan.

“We have no insight from anybody (about) how he did come to these beliefs,” Walsh said. “Without any insight into how he was radicalized, there’s no basis that he can be deradicalized.”

The Crown said 17 letters filed with the court in support of Hakimzadah lack understanding about how he became a fervent supporter of Islamic State militants.

“Not a single one acknowledges what he pled guilty to. None mentioned going to Turkey, or his attempt to join ISIS or anything we’re dealing with,” Walsh said. “They paint a uniform picture that is sharply contradicted of what he has admitted to. One letter says he practises pacifism.”

Walsh also noted the lack of research in the area of deradicalization.

Justice John McMahon, who will sentence Hakimzadah on Thursday, noted that the man’s family didn’t share his beliefs. He said a plan to address Hakimzadah’s behaviour and radical tendencies would be beneficial.

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“It’s in the community’s best interest to be able to come up, hopefully, with a plan to have people take responsibly for their actions, to deradicalize them in a fashion that will provide confidence to a community to save everybody from extremely dangerous situations,” he said.

The judge also noted the lack of input from the RCMP on the issue.

“Is the RCMP concerned about this or have research on deradicalization?” McMahon asked.

“I don’t have any input,” Walsh said.

Hakimzadah spoke at the end of the hearing when given the chance by the judge.

“I do take full responsibility,” he said. “I want you to know I will absolutely abide by any sentence that court imposes on me. I look forward to being reunited with my family.”

His mother cried in court.

Also on HuffPost:

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source https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2019/02/26/pamir-hakimzadah-toronto-man-who-tried-to-join-isil-could-spend-6-years-in-prison_a_23678753/

By The Wall of Law February 27, 2019 Off