FALEOMAVAEGA REQUESTS NOTIFICATION FROM U.S.

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CONGRESSMAN ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA American Samoa U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

NEWS RELEASE November 29, 2001

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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