Palestinian in US faces deportation

A Palestinian convicted by Israel for being a member of the resistance movement Hamas, faces deportation after serving nearly a year in prison for a visa violation, a newspaper reported.

    Hamas membership was attributed to the Palestinian

    Atef Hasan Ismail Idais, 28, says he is not a member of Hamas.

    He told a US court on Friday: "I have never been a member of Hamas," and accused Israeli officials of coercing a confession through torture, tying him to a child's chair in a windowless cell for weeks.

    His lawyer, Robert Miller, said the conviction in Israel was "not worth the paper it is printed on".

    Idais was sentenced by a judge on Thursday to a year in prison, which he has served since his arrest in September 2004. He could be released as early as Friday.

    Upon his release he will be handed-over to immigration authorities who intend to deport him, Assistant US Attorney Nancy Winter told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    Married to a US citizen

    Idais, who has lived in the US since 2000, is married to an American citizen, and they have two children, a three-year-old and an 18-month-old daughter.

    "I have never been a member of Hamas"

    Atef Hasan Ismail Idais

    He was arrested last year for making a false statement on a US visa application.

    He pleaded no contest and faced up to six months in prison under sentencing guidelines, but US District Judge John Padova said the case was unusual because of his "terrorism conviction".

    Winter accused Idais of lying repeatedly and trying to manipulate the court and immigration service.

    Student visa


    He had entered the United States on a student visa, but he never attended college.

    He was charged with failing to disclose a 1999 conviction in Israel for throwing stones, disturbing the peace, and membership in Hamas.

    Idais also said he planned to attend a US university, but his family had run out of money.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    Why a hipster, vegan, green tech economy is not sustainable

    Why a hipster, vegan, green tech economy is not sustainable

    Improving eco-efficiency within a capitalist growth-oriented system will not save the environment.