ADC Congratulates Hany Kiareldeen on Victory over Secret Evidence
ADC Press Release:
ADC Congratulates Hany Kiareldeen on Victory over Secret Evidence Washington D.C., October 19 — After being held for over 18 months in solitary confinement on the basis of secret evidence, Hany Kiareldeen‘s release has been yet again ordered, this time by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Their decision upheld an April ruling by an immigration judge ordering the release of Kiareldeen and granting him resident alien status based on his nine years in the United States and his marriage to an American citizen. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) announced that it intends to keep Kiareldeen in jail and has asked for a stay of the ruling until Oct. 29 while it considers another appeal, which would take the case directly to Attorney General Janet Reno.
The government claims to have “secret evidence,” withheld from Kiareldeen and his lawyers, that shows that Kiareldeen poses a “threat to national security.” The three judge BIA panel, however, ruled that the secret evidence failed to “establish a reasonable ground to believe that the respondent is engaged in, or is likely to engage in any terrorist activity.” The BIA described as “significant” that the INS. “relied exclusively on the F.B.I. reports and failed to present a single witness,” and agreed Kiareldeen‘s attorneys had “raised doubts regarding the reliability of the information contained in the F.B.I. reports.” There are at least 20 individuals currently being held in jail in the United States without charge and on the basis of secret evidence. All of these prosecutions target immigrants of Arab descent.
This case once again demonstrates that secret evidence is generally synonymous with weak evidence. In the cases of Nasser Ahmed, Imad Hamad and the Iraqi 6, declassified evidence once held secret and used as the basis for the imprisonment and deportation of Arab-Americans has been exposed as evidence that cannot withstand challenge. In this case even the unchallenged presentation of the secret evidence has repeatedly failed to impress judges who have now twice ordered Hany Kiareldeen‘s release. It again demonstrates why legislation ending this practice, HR 2121 “the Secret Evidence Repeal Act of 1999,” must be passed.
ADC President Hala Maksoud said that “We congratulate Hany Kiareldeen on his victory in this case. But we urge the Justice Department to stop the use of secret evidence which is an unconscionable violation of constitutional and human rights. Secret evidence has no place in responsible law enforcement. The Justice Department should stop using secret evidence and stop appealing to ever higher courts when secret evidence is reviewed and rejected by lower court judges. We appeal to the Attorney General to uphold the BIA ruling, release Hany Kiareldeen and put an end to his ordeal”