Stockholm: Yonas Fikre is a 33 year old naturalized American citizen born in Eritrea. He was seeking asylum in Sweden and claimed that whilst he was in United Arab Emirates last summer he was tortured and interrogated about the activities of a US mosque.
Fikre told in a news conference that he was beaten and held for 106 days and detained in solitary confinement throughout. He had converted to Islam in 2003 and occasionally attended the same mosque in Portland as Mohamed Osman Mohammed who was charged with a plot to detonate a bomb in NW USA. Fikre said he met Mohammed a few times only and was barely on nodding terms with him.
In 2010 seven Muslims from this mosque were arrested after a failed attempt to enter Afghanistan to fight against US forces there.
When Fikre accused his UAE inquisitors of collusion with the FBI, they first vehemently denied this and angrily stated they would never collude with Americans. Nonetheless in his final days in detention Fikre said one interrogator admitted the FBI had not only been aware but had taken part in his questioning. This man stated the FBI were working closing with them.
However FBI spokeswomen said that this would not be acceptable under American law but that she was unable to discuss the specifics of the case.
According to Willie Smith, an aide to Oregon congressman Earl Blumnauer, US officials had told Fikre’s wife he was ‘fine and wasn’t being mistreateded.
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