|November 29, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|WASHINGTON, D.C.—FALEOMAVAEGA REQUESTS NOTIFICATION FROM U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY WHETHER AMERICAN SAMOA UNDER CONSIDERATION AS POSSIBLE TERRORIST DETENTION SITE|
| Congressman Eni F.H. Faleomavaega,
Ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Subcommittee on East
Asia and the Pacific, announced today that he has contacted the U.S. Department
of Defense to determine whether American Samoa is part of Pentagon
plans for detention of prisoners from the conflict in Afghanistan.
In a letter to the Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, Faleomavaega stated, “I am writing with regards to recent media reports that U.S. territories and possessions in the Pacific are under consideration as possible military detention and trial sites for al-Qaida prisoners and suspected terrorists affiliated with Osama Bin Laden.”
“Speaking on behalf of my district,” stated the Congressman, “I have never received formal notice nor a briefing from the Department of Defense that the Territory of American Samoa is under consideration as a possible terrorist detention and tribunal site.” Faleomavaega further noted, “As you may be aware, American Samoa has only one detention area, the Tafuna Correctional Facility, which is small, overcrowded with local law violators, and has relatively light security.”
“If in fact American Samoa is being considered
for that purpose, I would respectfully request the courtesy of notification
and consultation on this matter. Thank you for your consideration
and I look forward to your timely response,” concluded Congressman
Faleomavaega in his letter to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld.
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