Sunday, December 15, 2002

America, land of the free

Before you condemn Egyptian student Abdallah Higazy for filing a civil rights lawsuit seeking $20 million in damages, consider that if he could be persecuted the way he was, it could also happen to you.

FBI agents detained Higazy as a material witness December 17, 2001, when he returned to the hotel to retrieve his personal belongings, including his passport and a Koran.

"I was taken arrested put in solitary, confinement ,shackled, strip searched," Higazy recalled Thursday.

During the lie detector test 10 days later, Higazy falsely admitted the radio was his, the basis of the prosecution.

Higazy claims Templeton threatened him during the course of their session, that he mentioned his brother, living in upstate New York, and said, "we'll make sure Egyptian security gives your family hell."

According to the government's report, Templeton interpreted Higazy's denials that he had participated in the September 11 attacks as lies.

Imagine what would have happened to Higazy if the real owner of this radio had never come forward. If this can happen to one innocent young man in this country, it could happen to anyone.

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