Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans .

IABA to Host Bipartisan Briefing on Detention of Iranians



Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Washington, D.C. - With the assistance of the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), the Iranian American Bar Association (IABA) has obtained Senate approval to conduct a bipartisan briefing for Congressional staffers on their recently published investigative report (the "Report") concerning the detention of Iranians under the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System ("NSEERS") in late 2002 and early 2003.

The Report provides a comprehensive, independent analysis of the manner in which the NSEERS special registration program has been implemented, and was prepared with assistance from the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, retained as pro bono counsel. Findings of the Report are based on first hand interviews of registrants representing a broad spectrum of Iranians living in the United States who discussed their experiences during the special registration process, including details of the conditions of their subsequent detention. The Report outlines substantial evidence of improper interrogations, arbitrary detention decisions, poor detention conditions, and demeaning treatment by INS officials.

The Report concludes that the loss of rights and dignity on the part of the registrants have been unreasonably high given the marginal national security benefits achieved by the program. That conclusion is supported by the Department of Homeland Security's decision to suspend the annual and thirty day re-registration requirements of the special registration program. While IAPAC and the IABA welcome the suspension, we recognize that the suspension does not address the violations detailed in the Report or the general mistrust and fear created by the program.

The objectives of the IABA briefing are: (1) to ensure transparency and accountability in government by educating and informing members of Congress and their staff of how the special registration program was implemented by immigration officials; (2) to engage in a constructive dialogue ensuring a balanced approach to safeguarding our homeland security against future attacks without unjustifiably or unnecessarily singling out a particular ethnic community or violating anyone’s civil rights; (3) rebuilding trust between the government and the communities affected by NSEERS; and (4) to facilitate redress for the individuals who were unnecessarily and unjustifiably detained and placed through deportation proceedings. The goal is to present the facts to both sides of the aisle in a non-partisan and constructive manner.

The briefing, which is being publicized by the Republican Senate Conference Committee,the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, and Congressman Marty Meehan and co-sponsored by Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), will be held on July 16, 2004 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM. The briefing is open to IAPAC trustees, members and guests. Please RSVP for the briefing by calling 202-824-0718 or by mailing


Paid for by the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC). This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Contributions are not tax-deductible as charitable deductions for federal tax purposes.

IAPAC is a registered bi-partisan federal political committee that contributes to candidates for federal office who are attuned to the domestic needs of the Iranian American community. IAPAC focuses exclusively on domestic policy issues such as civil rights and civil liberties, and encourages Iranian Americans to actively participate in the electoral process, to vote and run for political office.