06-17-2019  4:08 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Progressive Climate Policy Poised to Pass in Oregon

Oregon is on the precipice of becoming the second state after California to adopt a cap-and-trade program, a market-based approach to lowering the greenhouse gas emissions behind global warming.

Photos: Oregon Welcomes Shakespeare Festival’s Newly Appointed Artistic Director

On Wednesday, June 12, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival hosted a reception at the Froelick Gallery to welcome newly appointed artistic director Nataki Garret.

Juneteenth Celebrations Expand Across Metro Area, State

Gresham, Vancouver events join decades-old Portland celebration of the effective end of slavery

Portland Black Pride in June

Midway through Pride Month, there are still a number of events throughout Portland that celebrate LGBTQ community members of color.

NEWS BRIEFS

National African American Reparations Commission, ACLU to Host Forum on Reparations

Forum to Follow Congressional Hearing on Bill to Form a Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals ...

Must-See Shows Open in OSF Outdoor Theatre

New shows are Alice in Wonderland, Macbeth and All’s Well That Ends Well. ...

Roosevelt High School Students Earn National Recognition for Resiliency

Students from Roosevelt High School who recently started a storytelling and resiliency-building initiative have been invited to...

Seattle Art Museum Appoints Amada Cruz as New Director and CEO

The Board of Trustees of the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) announced today that Amada Cruz has been chosen as the museum’s new Illsley...

The Oregon Historical Society Presents a Lecture on Oregon’s Enigmatic Black History

Join the Oregon Historical Society for an evening exploring Oregon’s enigmatic history in relation to Blacks ...

Oregon House proposes oil train fees to fund spill planning

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon House of Representatives Monday passed a bill that would create new fees on oil train cars to pay for spill prevention and planning in the state.The House passed the bill on a 55-3 vote, according to a report by The Oregonian/OregonLive, sending it to the state...

Police: Bodies of mom, son found where boy's father cut wood

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The bodies of an Oregon mother and her 3-year-old son have been found more than a month after they vanished, hidden in a forest where the boy's father cut wood, authorities said Monday."Really good detective work" led authorities to find the bodies of Karissa and Billy...

OPINION

U.S. Attempt to Erase Harriet Tubman

Traitors like Jefferson Davis and other Confederates are memorialized while a woman who risked her life time and again to free enslaved people is simply dismissed. ...

Watching a Father and Son

You must have seen this video of a father speaking with his pre-verbal son about the season finale of Empire. ...

The Congressional Black Caucus Must Oppose HR 246

If every tactic that was used by African Americans in the Civil Rights Movement and/or in the fight against apartheid South Africa was either criminalized or attacked by the US Congress, how would you respond? ...

Jamestown to Jamestown: Commemorating 400 Years of the African Diaspora Experience

We are now able to actualize the healing and collective unity so many generations have worked to achieve in ways which bring power to our communities in America, Africa and throughout our Diaspora. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Harvard pulls Parkland grad's admission over racist comments

BOSTON (AP) — A survivor of the Parkland school shooting announced Monday that Harvard University withdrew his admission over racist comments he made in a shared Google Doc and text messages nearly two years ago.In a series of posts on Twitter, Kyle Kashuv shared several letters he received...

The Latest: Arizona governor calls police video 'disturbing'

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on Phoenix police pointing guns at a couple during a shoplifting investigation (all times local):3:30 p.m.Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says a video showing Phoenix police aiming guns and yelling profanities at a man and a pregnant woman holding a baby is disturbing and...

The Latest: No video of officer shooting in Buttigieg's city

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The Latest on a deadly police shooting in the Indiana hometown of Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (all times local):6:15 p.m.Authorities say no police video exists of the confrontation during which an officer fatally shot a black man in the Indiana...

ENTERTAINMENT

Taylor Swift's new video features Ellen, RuPaul and more

NEW YORK (AP) — Taylor Swift's new music video features a number of famous faces, including Ellen DeGeneres, Laverne Cox, RuPaul and the cast of "Queer Eye."The clip for her song "You Need to Calm Down," in which Swift calls out homophobes and her own haters, was released Monday.Ryan...

Megadeth's Dave Mustaine says he has throat cancer

NEW YORK (AP) — Megadeth's Dave Mustaine says he has been diagnosed with throat cancer.The singer and guitarist of the heavy metal band announced the news on social media Monday, writing that he's "working closely with my doctors, and we've mapped out a treatment plan which they feel has a...

'Emanuel' explores life after tragic church shooting

NEW YORK (AP) — Jennifer Pinckney was hiding under a desk holding the mouth of her then-6-year-old daughter when Dylann Roof fired more than 70 shots in Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine black worshippers.The new documentary, "Emanuel," explores life after...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Scientists take a peek behind those sad puppy dog eyes

NEW YORK (AP) — What's behind those hard-to-resist puppy dog eyes?New research suggests that over thousands...

Police: 4 shot, 2 arrested at Raptors rally in Toronto

TORONTO (AP) — Four people were shot and wounded at a rally Monday for the NBA champion Raptors, and two...

Blackout in South America raises questions about power grid

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The huge blackout that left tens of millions of people in the dark in...

Pakistani police target traffickers selling brides to China

FAISALABAD, Pakistan (AP) — At first, in her desperate calls home to her mother in Pakistan, Natasha Masih...

Overcrowding, abuse seen at Mexico migrant detention center

TAPACHULA, Mexico (AP) — The 36-year-old Cuban mechanic's eyes glazed over as he recalled his time at the...

The Latest: Airbus is ready for autonomous planes; are you?

LE BOURGET, France (AP) — The Latest on the Paris Air Show (all times local):7 p.m.The chief salesman for...

McMenamins
Malin Rising and Steven Dubois the Associated Press

STOCKHOLM (AP) -- A Muslim American seeking asylum in Sweden claimed Wednesday he was detained at the U.S. government's request while in the United Arab Emirates last summer, tortured in custody and interrogated about the activities of a Portland, Oregon, mosque.

Yonas Fikre told a news conference Wednesday that he was held for 106 days and was beaten, threatened with death and kept in solitary confinement in a frigid cell.

The 33-year-old, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Eritrea, says he had attended the same mosque in Portland as a man who has been charged in a plot to detonate a bomb in the northwestern U.S. city. He moved to Sudan in 2009 and later to the United Arab Emirates. He went to Sweden, where he has relatives, after being released from detention on Sept. 15.

Fikre, who converted to Islam in 2003, is the third Muslim man from Portland to publicly say he was detained while traveling abroad and questioned about Portland's Masjid-as-Sabr mosque. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a Somali American who is awaiting trial on a charge of plotting to set off a bomb in downtown Portland in November 2010, occasionally worshipped there. A decade ago, seven Muslims with ties to the mosque were arrested following a failed effort to enter Afghanistan and fight U.S. forces.

Fikre says he met Mohamud a handful of times, but wouldn't call him a friend or even an acquaintance.

Fikre says he was arrested on June 1 in the United Arab Emirates and taken to a prison in Abu Dhabi, where he was questioned about the activities of the Portland mosque and its imam, Mohamed Sheikh Abdirahman Kariye.

When he first suggested that his UAE interrogators were working for the FBI, they became very upset, he said.

"They got very angry and they said: We don't work with the Americans, we are an independent country," he said. However, in the final days of his confinement, Fikre said that one interrogator acknowledged that the FBI had been involved in his questioning.

"He confirmed to me that the FBI was there. Also when I was getting beaten, they did admit that the FBI knew exactly what was happening and they were working with the FBI," Fikre said.

Beth Anne Steele, a spokeswoman for the FBI office in Portland, said she could not discuss specifics of the case.

"I can tell you that the FBI trains its agents very specifically and very thoroughly about what is acceptable under U.S. law," she said. "To do anything counter to that training is counterproductive - we risk legal liability and potentially losing a criminal case in court."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has called upon the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate whether Fikre was tortured at the behest of the FBI.

"Barack Obama said that America doesn't torture," said Gadeir Abbas, the group's attorney. "We didn't see the footnote that America relies on others to do its torture."

An aide to Oregon congressman Earl Blumenauer told the AP that last June, Blumenauer's office had been contacted by Fikre's wife and lawyer after he vanished. The aide, Willie Smith, said State Department officials confirmed to the congressman's office that Fikre was detained June 20 in the United Arab Emirates.

A few days later a U.S. official went to the prison where Fikre was being held, Smith said. According to Smith, U.S. government officials told Fikre's wife that he "was fine and that he wasn't being mistreated."

Fikre said he moved to Sudan in late 2009 to pursue business opportunities. A few months later, he was asked to contact the U.S. Embassy to discuss safety and security concerns for Americans in the unstable country. He was met by two men who identified themselves as FBI agents and asked questions about the Portland mosque. Fikre says the agents told him he had been placed on the federal no-fly list, and could only return to the U.S. if he agreed to become an informant, an offer he refused.

In the ensuing weeks, the FBI met a relative of Fikre's in Portland and urged that person to encourage Fikre to cooperate with authorities, he said. Fikre said he began to notice he was being followed on the streets of Sudan, prompting him to leave the country on June 15, 2010. Fikre then visited relatives in Europe for three months and flew to the United Arab Emirates after his European Union visa expired.

In a phone interview with The AP, Smith read what he said was an email from the American Citizens Services bureau about its contact with Fikre and with his family.

"After contacting multiple legal authorities in the UAE and the ministry of foreign affairs, we finally got confirmation that he was being held by the state security department. We were able to conduct a consular visit today and have contacted his wife to update her," the bureau wrote to Blumenauer's office.

Fikre said the person who visited him was a low-ranking embassy official. Fikre said he was warned to say he was being treated well or "more torture would take place." He said the beatings and interrogation continued until his September release.

---

Associated Press writer Steven DuBois reported from Portland, Oregon.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Carpentry Professionals
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

The Skanner Photo Archives