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CAIR-AZ Applauds Release of Palestinian Asylum Seeker from ICE Detention

CAIR logo(PHOENIX, AZ, 5/27/2016) – The Arizona chapter of the Council on American Islamic-Relations of (CAIR-AZ) today applauded the decision of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to release Palestinian asylum seeker Hisham Ghalia from his prolonged detention.

In February, CAIR-AZ, along with The Law Offices of Zayed Al-Sayyed, filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus to the U.S. Government requesting Hisham's release from the facility.

SEE: CAIR-AZ Files Petition for Habeas Corpus for Palestinian Asylum Seeker Held in ICE Detention Facility in Arizona


Ghalia, along with Mounis Hammouda, fled Gaza under horrific conditions in 2010, traveling to Turkey, Cyprus, Venezuela, through Mexico. Both men sought asylum in the United States and surrendered themselves at the border. Ghalia, without any legal representation, chose to forgo his asylum claim after months in detention. He remained in Florence detention facility for more than a year and a half as the government unsuccessfully attempted to effectuate his removal.

SEE: 500 Days in Limbo: The Story of Two Men From Gaza Stuck in U.S. Immigration Detention

The U.S. Wants to Deport This Palestinian, But First It'd Have to Recognize Palestine

Hammouda was released on March 9 on bond with his asylum hearing still pending. Ghalia was kept in detention until yesterday evening when ICE authorities announced that he would be released under an order of supervision until his removal.  Both men can now proceed forward with building lives and working to support themselves.

“We are pleased with this outcome, and hope that this is the first step for both Hisham and Mounis to finally begin living normal lives,†said CAIR-AZ Civil Rights Director Liban Yousuf. “They have endured more than anyone can imagine in the past five years, so it’s a great feeling to see them both smiling today.â€

  CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

If you believe your rights have been violated, you may call CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or email

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CONTACT: CAIR-AZ Civil Rights Director Liban Yousuf at (602) 301-7618 or email

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