The Crescent Report

December 20, 2007

Imam Kadir Gunduz Released on Bond After 2 Week Detainment

Filed under: From the Desk of Imam Mahdi Bray — Tags: , — Imam Mahdi Bray @ 10:03 am

MAS Freedom (MASF), as the civic and human rights advocacy entity of the Muslim American Society (MAS), through the MAS Freedom Legal Fund, sent Executive Director, Mahdi Bray to Pittsburgh on Wednesday in order to be present for the bail hearing of Islamic Center of Pittsburgh Imam, Kadir Gunduz.  This is in continued follow-up of unsettling reports indicating a trend in the detainment of Muslim activists and religious leaders.


Imam Gunduz, 48, was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE), Dec. 4 in Pittsburgh on an alleged immigration violation, nearly two decades after arriving in the United States. He was released on a $5,000 bond at Wednesday afternoon’s immigration court hearing.


“This is another example of how ‘basically innocuous’ immigration violations have become criminalized or ‘portrayed in a nefarious way, especially if the individuals are seen to be religious leaders or activists,” stated Bray.


MAS Freedom Legal Fund attorneys took on the case of Imam Foad Farahi, 33, detained by USICE officials in Miami, Florida on November 26, 2007.  A preliminary victory in the case came as U.S. District Court Judge Marcia G. Cooke granted a Temporary Restraining Order filed by Ira J. Kurzban, Esq.  


The Judge’s ruling stipulates that Farahi, who has applied for asylum from Iran, not be moved to a detention center outside of the State of Florida; that he be granted relief from detention pending final ruling on his removal proceedings and for his case to be re-examined due to deprivation of his constitutional right of due process.


Farahi was subsequently released from Krome Detention Center in North Miami on a $15,000 bond December 4, 2007.


As in the Farahi case, the MAS Freedom Legal Fund, through its highly esteemed and experienced immigration attorneys, intend to offer their support to Imam Gunduz in seeking full protection of his rights.


MAS Freedom will continue to keep you updated on the Imam Gunduz and Imam Farahi cases as additional details arise.


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