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Federal charges dropped against former Portland man suing FBI over alleged torture

Yonas-FikreHelen Jung, The Oregonian

Federal prosecutors have dropped charges against a former Portland man who claims he was tortured overseas at the behest of the Portland office of the FBI.

Prosecutors had charged Yonas Fikre in May 2012 with one count of conspiracy and one count of structuring for an alleged plot to conceal from U.S. authorities the transfer of tens of thousands of dollars to the United Arab Emirates. Prosecutors in San Diego also charged his brother and a Seattle businessman who handled money transfers.

The charges came less than two weeks after Fikre went public with his allegations that he was held and tortured for 106 days by United Arab Emirates authorities. Among other accusations, Fikre said the torture came after he refused efforts by FBI agents to get him to spy on people at the Southwest Portland mosque where he often prayed, Masjed As-Saber.

Fikre, who has applied for asylum in Stockholm, Sweden, has since sued the FBI. He is deciding whether to return to the United States, said his attorney, Thomas Nelson. (Read more)

Background on this case: Lawsuit Claims U.S. Muslim Tortured at Behest of FBI, State Dept.

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