An Egyptian Christian will remain in the United States for now, because even though he may have no such right, “he most assuredly has a right not to be tortured,” a federal court ruled.
The decision came in the case of Sameh Khouzam, 38, who has been in the U.S.
for about nine years, according to spokesman Sam Grace of Coptic News.
His supporters feared he would face sure torture under Egypt’s Islamic law, and
U.S. District Judge Thomas Vanaskie agreed that was possible.
“Judge Vanaskie found that there was a compelling case for the argument that
deportation would cause irreparable harm and that the record bore out that if Sameh was returned to Egypt, he probably would face torture,” Grace told WND.
“Protection against torture is an essential component of the rule of law and a democratic society,” the judge concluded. “While Khouzam may have no right to be in the
United States, he most assuredly has a right not to be tortured.”
Grace said the judge appeared to distrust assurances from the State Department
that Egypt had promised Khouzam would not be punished if he would return to the land he
fled while under threat of violence unless he and his family converted to Islam.
“Khouzam has presented a claim that his removal will violate the [Convention Against Torture.] In this regard, no showing has been made by [the government] that removal based upon diplomatic assurances by a country known to have engaged in torture is consistent with the CAT,” the judge wrote.
He added: “The protection against torture on which the principle of non-return
rests is a fundamental right that is important to the rule of law and essential to a democratic society.”
The record indicates, the judge said, “a probability of torture upon Khouzam’s return to Egypt. The Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit found it more likely than not that Khouzam will be tortured, and the record before this court does not show otherwise.”
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