A panel of federal judges dismissed a torture case against a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer in Detroit, a ruling that’s a setback for a Michigan man who was detained for hours at the border.
In 2015, Anas Elhady was a naturalized U.S. citizen living in Dearborn who was stopped by CBP after returning from a visit with family in Canada.
According to court documents, Elhady was detained for hours without being given a reason in conditions that eventually forced him to be hospitalized.
Elhady’s attorney, Justin Sadowsky, said he was held at the Ambassador Bridge facility because they believe his name was on a terrorism watch list.
He was for held for six hours, where agents took Elhady’s jacket and shoes, leaving him in a t-shirt, pants and socks in a freezing cold cell.
Right now it’s 36 degrees, roughly the same temperature, if not a little warmer, than in Elhady’s cell, where he Sadowsky said his client eventually got so cold he passed out and was taken to the hospital with signs of cold stress. He was revived and brought back to the same facility and eventually released.
“We have never been given an official reason why he was detained,” Sadowsky said. “He’s a U.S. citizen. He has an absolute right to enter the country.”
Local 4 did reach out to CBP for a comment on the ruling, but did not get a response back.
Sadowsky said the dismissal is a setback, but not an end.
“We think this case is particular and could be particularly persuasive for a number of reasons, and so we’re going to take it one way or another to see if either the Sixth Circuit or the Supreme Court wants to see this case,” he said.