Our groups letters of concern helped release Malik Jarno of Guinea.
Malik Jarno is a Guinean asylum-seeker who was held in York County Prison in York County, Pennsylvania. He arrived in the United States in January 2001 as a 16-year-old after Guinean government forces killed his family and destroyed his home. Having spent more than two and a half years in detention, Malik Jarno was 18 years old, but has the mental capacity of a 10-year-old.
During these two and a half years, Malik Jarno spent time in five adult jails and one children’s detention center. He was reported to have been beaten by other inmates, and, on one occasion, beaten and pepper-sprayed by guards. His youth, mental disability, and his poor ability to communicate in English compound the many difficulties he faces.
Three experts found that Jarno’s IQ scores placed him in the mentally retarded range, the Department of Human Services apparently insists that Jarno is not retarded and has made no provisions for that disability. International Friendship House, a non-profit shelter in York, Pennsylvania, has offered to provide a home for him, but he remains incarcerated in an adult penal institution.
Amnesty International reports that Malik Jarno could be deported at any time.
The Global Importune letter signing group began sending letters of concern on behalf of Malik Jarno to officials in the United States Department of Human Services sometime around October 2003.
He was released on December 23, 2003.
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