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October 24, 2004

News 10/24/04 - Ciaran Ferry Alert

From: Gerry Coleman, INAC Political Education Dept.
Re: Ciaran Ferry Hearing set for 28 Oct. 2004 in Denver Court


All who can, are asked to attend the public hearing regarding the
petition for Habeas Corpus for Ciaran Ferry before Judge
Nottinghan in the US District Court in Denver, Colorado. An
overcrowded courtroom makes as impression.

As obviously most of us cannot attend, please send a message of
support through the web site of the “Irish Deportees of America”
[] which can help the case by showing
national and international interest, as well as providing a morale
boost for Ciaran and his family. If you need information about
how to get to the courthouse, etc., call 248-661-6989.

The web site of “Irish Deportees of America” also can keep you
updated on the cases of Malachy McAllister of New Jersey and John
McNicholl formerly of Philadelphia, already unjustly deported.

Background on the Ciaran Ferry Case [from the “Ciaran Ferry
Defence Fund”]

Denver, CO - A former Irish prisoner of war, who had been detained
in the infamous H-Blocks of Long Kesh prison for his republican
activities and hopes of a united Ireland, is being held without
bond in the Denver County Jail by the BICE (Bureau of Immigration
and Customs Enforcement, formerly the INS).

Ciaran Ferry, an Irish citizen and former member of the IRA, was
detained by INS agents as he attended a scheduled "green card"
interview on January 30th, 2003 with his wife, Heaven Ferry.
Heaven, an American citizen, is shocked by her husband's arrest.
"How can they arrest him when he's married to a US citizen and has
a pending application?"

Mr. Ferry is being held in solitary confinement and has been
strip-searched routinely after visits from his wife and family,
even though he has agreed to abide by prison rules. He has not
seen daylight since February 26, 2003 and is allowed out of his
cell to exercise for one hour every other day. Mr. Ferry has
protested this ill treatment to the prison and also has asked his
legal team to take action on his behalf. "The conditions of his
detention are clearly disproportionate to the charges pending
against him," claims Jeff Joseph, the immigration attorney
representing Mr. Ferry.

The official charge against Mr. Ferry involves overstaying his
visa. This charge is unfounded because at the time of his
application, Mr. Ferry was granted work authorization by the
Department of Homeland Security and permitted to stay in the
country. Mr. Ferry's legal team has responded to these invalid
charges by filing a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus in U.S.
District Court for the State of Colorado, arguing that his
detention and removal are unconstitutional. A status conference
regarding Mr. Ferry's habeas petition is scheduled for May 23rd,

Mr. Ferry was imprisoned by British authorities in March of 1993
after two weapons were found in a car in which he was a passenger.
He was held for two years before being tried without a jury under
the Diplock court system, and sentenced to 22 years in Long Kesh,
a special prison in the north of Ireland opened in 1976 solely to
accommodate Republican and Loyalist prisoners sentenced for
political offenses. He spent seven and a half years in the H-
Blocks before being released in the summer of 2000 under the Good
Friday Accord, brokered by Britain and Ireland with the active
involvement of U.S. President Bill Clinton and U.S. Senator George

Ciaran and Heaven Ferry were married in Belfast in August of 2000,
and lived there immediately following their wedding. In September
of that year, police found Ciaran's personal details and home
address on Loyalist death lists, and the couple was given a
government grant to secure their flat against gun and bomb attack.
Only a few months later, during a visit to Heaven's family in
Colorado, the couple decided to stay in the United States to
provide a safer life for the baby they had learned they were

Mr. Ferry firmly believes that it would be dangerous to return to
Ireland, and to do so would put the lives of his wife and daughter
in jeopardy. Mr. Ferry has requested an asylum hearing with the
immigration judge based on a well-founded fear of returning to
Ireland, and a hearing on this matter is scheduled for late

Jeff Joseph, counsel for Ciaran Ferry asks, "Can anyone ignore the
situation of Mr. Ferry? If forced to return to Belfast, Mr. Ferry,
his United States Citizen wife and 2-year-old United States
Citizen daughter will be grave danger. In the spirit of the Good
Friday Accords, we ask Attorney General John Ashcroft and
President Bush to terminate deportation proceedings against Mr.
Ferry and grant him his permanent residence in the United States."

--- News

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