Rachelle Barbour has worked as an Assistant Federal Defender at the Sacramento federal court for over 20 years. She also heads up the federal defender clinic at McGeorge Law School.
Her most prominent case has been that of Iraqi refugee Omar Ameen, who was accused of being an ISIS commander and murdering a police officer in Iraq. He was acquitted of those charges in April, as a federal judge ruled this was physically impossible because Ameen was not in Iraq at the time of the alleged murder.
However, he remains detained in an ICE facility, has been detained for more than 1000 days and is facing extradition. As Barbour explained, if sent back to Iraq to face criminal charges, he faces certain death by execution—most likely through extra-legal means.
This week, the Immigrant Legal Defense and the University of Chicago Immigrants’ Rights Clinic announced they filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on his behalf, seeking his immediate release.
“The government seems to think that it can do whatever it wants as long as it invokes the word ‘terrorism,’” said Nicole Hallett, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School.
Listen as Rachelle Barbour discusses the Ameen case as well as her experience working as a federal defender and her work with the clinic at McGeorge.
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