Orlando: A Pakistani immigrant has filed a lawsuit against the US government in a federal court in Miami, saying he was kept for over ten months in solitary confinement after being falsely arrested on ‘terrorism’ charges.
Forty-year-old Irfan Khan, who immigrated to the United States from Pakistan in 1994, filed the complaint on December 3 at US District Court of Miami.
According to the lawsuit, Khan was arrested in California in 2011 on charges that included providing material support for the Pakistani Taliban.
The 40-year-old was then taken to a prison in Florida as he was also accused of supporting a plot for the abduction and murder of individuals overseas.
The lawsuit says that all charges against Khan were dropped in June 2012. However, until then he had been held for around 320 days in solitary confinement.
“I was shocked at the time. I’m still shocked. I don’t know why it happened, how it happened, and that’s why we are doing this. To get some answers,” Khan told Reuters on Thursday.
“The conduct the government subjected Irfan to, as a result of his religion, national origin, and its overzealousness in its war on terror was and still is, by all standards, horrendous,” the complaint says.
The lawsuit also accuses Washington of false arrest, incarceration and malicious prosecution.
The US government accused Khan of giving money to a commander of the Pakistani Taliban known as Akbar Hussain in 2008. However, Khan says he sent money to his wife, who was visiting Pakistan, through her uncle who is also named Akbar Hussain, a retired college professor.
The complaint also says that an impartial translator would have rejected the government’s interpretation of Khan’s telephone conversations with his father in Urdu and Pashto, which were cited by prosecutors.
The lawsuit says he criticized the Pakistani government during the two conversations but did not advocate violence, as was claimed by government prosecutors.
Khan said he lost his job and his car after his arrest. His wife and two children had to move over safety concerns.