Casualties in the so-called "war on terrorism"


USA: Pakistani working in USA has visa revoked for no reason

As a well travelled Pakistani national living in the United States, Shahid Yousaf, thought he knew all about the post-September 11 immigration controls. But at Miami airport on 3 August 2002, after a week working in Venezuela, his whole life was turned upside down. Shahid's fingerprints were taken and he was detained for two hours. He was then told his visa had been revoked, that he could not enter the US and that he would be returned to Venezuela. Mr. Yousaf instead travelled to London, a concession secured only by paying for the airline ticket.

In 1993, Shahid completed a Mechanical Engineering degree at University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, Pakistan and went to University of New South Wales Sydney, Australia, where he obtained a Masters in industrial engineering. In 1997, he started working for Kuwait SantaFe in Kuwait (then part of SantaFe International, a multinational drilling contractor in the oil business). After three months work in Kuwait he was seconded to Dallas, Texas for a maintenance system implementation project and then worked regularly in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Azerbaijan. During his time off, Mr. Yousaf initially travelled back and forth to Kuwait, later moving to Sydney.

In September 2001, SantaFe International merged with Global Marine and in December Shahid was offered a job as Senior Field Support Specialist at the now Global SantaFe IT department in Houston and was asked to move there. He accepted the offer and the company arranged his visa. Eight months into his new job he was banned from the US without explanation.

After being expelled from the US, Mr. Yousaf did some support work in Aberdeen while the company lawyers sought an explanation for the decision to revoke his visa. In September 2002 Shahid went to work in Perth. All the SantaFe lawyers have been able to find out is that the INS department at Maimi airport had placed a five year ban on his entry to the US, despite the fact that he was travelling on a valid visa. A Freedom of Information application to the State Department has been made though no explanation has yet been received.

In March 2003 Global SantaFe told Shahid that because the legal process was taking so long he was to be made redundant. He has moved back to Sydney and is still waiting for a Decision on a new visa application lodged at the US consulate in Perth.

Source: Statewatch, 6.10.03

Canada: Government pay out of court settlement to falsely accused "terrorist" suspect

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On 7 November 2001 Mr Liban Hussein, a Somalian-born Canadian citizen, who ran a money transfer business (hawala) in Dorchester, Massachusetts, to help Somalians send money home to a country where there are few banks , put put on a list of 62 people by the USA who allegedly supported terrorism. On the same day the UN Security Council and the Canadian government, adopted the same list. His bank accounts were frozen, his business in Dorchester shut down and his brother was arrested and charged with operating a business without a licence. Liban Hussein was however in Ottawa and the US government asked the Canadian government to extradite him.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) arrested Mr Hussein but a court released him on bail as neither government produced any evidence of terrorist links. But not only were his funds frozen, it became a crime for anyone to have any financial dealings with him. On top of this the Canadian government announced that they intended to extradite him. Throughout Mr Hussein denied all the accusations.

From November 2001 all Mr Hussein's dealings were frozen until mid-June 2002, seven months later, when the Canadian Justice Department announced - having reviewed the US material which showed "no evidence he was connected with terrorist activities" - that extradit

 

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