This is what you get for successfully challenging illegal detention? Dumped in Syria? https://t.co/3v3IkY14Kl— David Cole (@DavidColeACLU) June 8, 2018
The United States plans to drop off a detained individual they previously claimed was an "enemy combatant" on the side of the road in war-torn Syria, despite the fact that doing so could end up being a death sentence for the man.
Kurdish forces captured the unnamed man in Iraq and handed him over to U.S. forces shortly after. President Donald Trump's administration held the man, without charge, from that time until now, on suspicion of being an agent of the Islamic State group.
The man denied these charges and contested his imprisonment in court, being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The man holds dual Saudi and American citizenship and claimed he was trying to escape violence, not become a part of it.
The ACLU was prepared to argue against his continued detaining when suddenly this week the U.S. decided to drop the case entirely. Instead, the Trump administration will “dump an American citizen onto the side of the road in a war-torn country without any assurances of protection and no identification,” ACLU attorney Jonathan Hafetz said.
Hafetz described this decision by the U.S. as a “death sentence.”
“Our fight for our client's right to due process has also become a fight for his right to life,” he said.
The ACLU contends that, under international law and the U.S. Constitution, the man deserves to be released into a safe area — not a location where he’ll be without ID and most likely face imminent danger.
“Treating anyone in such a disgraceful way is outrageous, and it’s frankly astonishing that the government proposes to do this to one of its own citizens,” Hafetz wrote in a blog post on the matter.
The U.S. won’t drop off this man for at least 72 hours, court documents indicate. But the ACLU is absolutely right; this man is, essentially, being sentenced to death for a crime he was never convicted of committing.
The Trump administration doesn’t seem to care about due process or treating individuals with a shred of human dignity. Likely recognizing they couldn’t defend the improper detention of this individual, they have now apparently decided he deserves to die anyway and plan to drop him off in an area that will almost assuredly accomplish that goal.
What has our government become when this president and his minions perform such an egregious act against an American citizen?
This is unconscionable and goes against the ideals that this country was founded upon. Hopefully, action can be taken to make sure the man remains safe after the 72-hour deadline.