USA : Ahmed Abu ’Ali
Fear of Torture/Ill-treatment/Incommunicado detention
mercredi 9 novembre 2005
AI Index : AMR 51/180/2005
Further Information on UA 340/04 (AMR 51/183/2004, 22 December 2004) and follow-ups (MDE 23/001/2005, 04 February 2005 ; AMR 51/044/2005, 23 February 2005 ; AMR 51/085/2005, 27 May 2005)
USA : Ahmed Abu ’Ali (m), aged 23, US national
08 November 2005
The trial of Ahmed Abu Ali began on 31 October, in the US district court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division. He faces charges of being a member of al-Qa’ida and participating in a conspiracy to assassinate President Bush. Amnesty International has sent an observer to the trial.
In pre-trial hearings, defence lawyers for Ahmed Abu Ali had filed motions to have the case suppressed or dismissed because of claims that his videotaped confession was obtained through torture in Saudi Arabia. On 24 October US District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee ordered that the trial should go ahead.
Ahmed Abu Ali claims that he was tortured while held incommunicado by the Saudi Arabian security forces : this included whipping him on the back and kicking him in the stomach. He says that his confession was a result of this torture. Two doctors who examined him found evidence that he was tortured physically and mentally, but federal prosecutors have referred to another medical report which found no evidence of mistreatment.
In his Memorandum Opinion giving details of the ruling that trial should go ahead, Judge Lee decided that statements made by Ahmed Abu Ali were not the result of « gross abuse » or « inherently coercive conditions, » and were therefore admissible as evidence in the trial.
Amnesty International remains concerned at the allegations that Ahmed Abu Ali was tortured, and that his confession may have been extracted under torture or ill-treatment. Amnesty International is also concerned over the role of the US authorities in his interrogation in Saudi Arabia and over the conditions in which he was confined.
Amnesty International will be monitoring the case closely, and will take further campaigning action as necessary.
No further action is requested from the UA network.
Many thanks to all who sent appeals.