(ANAHEIM, CA, 5/19/14) — The Greater Los Angeles-Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today said it is assisting an Egyptian teenager seek asylum in the United States after he was initially barred from travelling to California for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair because of charges brought by coup regime authorities in that nation.
Abdallah Assem, 17, was arrested last month in Cairo on charges of “illegal protesting” and burning several police vehicles. The teen inventor, whose work is focused on helping those who have paralyzed arms and legs, denies the charges made against him and said he had no part in the pro-democracy protest that was taking place in the area where he was arrested. He was released from detention pending investigation and allowed to travel to the science fair.
Following the military coup in Egypt, thousands of pro-democracy protesters have been killed or wounded and tens of thousands have been jailed on politically-motivated charges.
“We believe the United States must shelter this gifted teenager until the Egyptian legal system no longer serves as a tool of state repression,” said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. “Abdallah Assem and his parents believe he would be detained on his return to Egypt. He no longer feels safe in Egypt and believes that his future and his life would be jeopardized in his home country.”
The new CAIR-LA Immigrants' Rights Center will be handling Assem's asylum request. The center provides high-quality, low-cost and pro bono services to individuals seeking legal assistance. For more information email: email@example.com
CAIR is the nation'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.
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CONTACT: CAIR-Greater Los Angeles-Area Communications Coordinator Yasmin Nouh, 714-776-1847, 714-851-4851, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com