SAMEH KHOUZAM -- (House of Representatives - June 06, 2007)
(Mr. PITTS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of Mr. Sameh Khouzam. In 1998, Mr. Khouzam fled Egypt to the United States to escape persecution and torture at the hands of the Egyptian officials. Mr. Khouzam currently works in my district and by all accounts is an upstanding, contributing member of the community.
In 2004, our courts gave him protection because they believed, ``it is more likely than not'' that he would be tortured should he return to Egypt. Even our State Department reports outline extensive torture in Egypt. Having personally heard stories of individuals who have suffered torture by Egyptian authorities, I firmly believe that the court has been right to prevent his deportation.
U.S. officials are now prepared to ignore the court's decision and deport Khouzam based on nothing more than ``assurances'' of no torture from known torturers.
Mr. Speaker, a former CIA officer stated this week on an Australian news program that sending someone like Khouzam back to Egypt is ``tantamount to condemning them to death.''
Our government has the ability to prevent his torture. Do not deport Mr. Khouzam.