LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Court: State Department Wrongfully Revoked Passport Of American In Yemen

A federal magistrate judge ruled today that the State Department wrongfully seized the passport of a naturalized U.S. citizen in Sana'a, Yemen, leaving him stranded in that war-torn country for over a year with no way of returning to his home in California.

The case involves 64-year-old, Mosed Shaye Omar, a former autoworker, who went to Yemen to help his youngest daughter apply for a U.S. passport. But he was accused of immigration fraud after, Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley says, he was coerced into signing a false confession. Corley called the government's revocation of Omar's passport "arbitrary and capricious."

Omar's story isn't atypical, according to his lawyers.

"This court's ruling calls into question the State Department's revocation of dozens of other Yemeni-Americans' passports based on similar coerced confessions," said Nasrina Bargzie, senior staff attorney at the San Francisco-based Asian Law Caucus. That's one of the groups that published this report in January documenting such cases.

Omar's saga began in January 2013 when he was invited to the U.S. Embassy in Sana'a, believing that he could get his daughter's passport. Instead, upon his arrival, his passport was confiscated and he was interrogated. Omar, a diabetic, says he was deprived of food, water and medicine for a full day. He says he was told that the only way he could retrieve his passport and leave the embassy was by signing a statement. Omar says he couldn't read it due to his blurred vision.

The statement, written by embassy officials, said that Omar's true identity was "Yasin Mohamed Ali Alghazi" and that he had hid this information when he naturalized in 1978. He signed the statement in the name of Mosed Shaye Omar, the name the embassy officials claimed was false.

The State Department cited that statement as its only evidence that Omar had committed immigration fraud. Omar was eventually allowed to return home on a temporary passport.

The State Department could appeal the ruling.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)