Having subjected me to a "manifestly unfounded" asylum procedure in 1991 without legal representation or right of appeal, having refused to help me recover the trunks containing most of my documents, Danish officials subjected me to forced repatriation, falsely describing me as "apparently deranged" and "hospitalized here" -- vicious lies.
This is a telegram sent by the US Embassy in Copenhagen
to the US Secretary of State.
On appeal, the US Department of State, under former
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, agreed to attach the following corrections
to the document.
Please note that this telegram did not include my UDL (asylum-seeker identification number), UDL No. 88-051.481, which my original request had provided. My request had also indicated the following: "I was not in detention at Sandholm. I was free to leave the camp and travel around the area. At no time was I regarded as a danger to myself or others." For some reason, the State Department also saw fit to exclude this.
Here's the truth, here are the principles, to which the State Department would not commit itself!
After State Department officials speciously refused my request for amendment, I submitted a letter of appeal dated June 7, 2000, which the department eventually honored. My appeal included the following:
Deep in your hearts, you know that there are many people in this country who have just cause for seeking refuge elsewhere -- people without recourse, without hope, denied due process or the equal protection of the laws. Under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the United States and Denmark are both States Parties, such persons have a right to leave their own country, and must not be returned here against their wills.
Please do not continue this atrocious coverup. Please cease to encourage policies that discriminate against American citizens. We have the same right as anybody else to seek political asylum and to have our applications considered fairly.
I suggest that the following statements be appended inseparably to document 91 Copenhagen 8790, dated December 18, 1991:
Mr. James Henry Graf was an asylum-seeker in Denmark whose application was judged "manifestly unfounded" on the basis of his country of origin.
Danish authorities were aware that Mr. Graf had mailed two complaints against Denmark to UN Committees.
Despite his request for assistance in finding refuge elsewhere in Europe, Mr. Graf was returned against his will to the United States.
No evidence exists that Mr. Graf was "apparently deranged" or "hospitalized" in Denmark. His residence at Sandholm Refugee Center appears to have been continuous from September 19, 1991 to December 19, 1991, the day of his repatriation. His communication with Danish authorities was entirely rational and his requests accorded well with International Law.
The State Department of the United States of America deplores and regrets this human rights crime committed against an American citizen.
The State Department of the United States of America recommends that the UN Human Rights Committee and the UN Committee Against Torture acknowledge Mr. Graf's communications immediately and process them expeditiously.
Some day, the whole truth shall be known. Some day, justice shall prevail.
Take Back Your Lies, Denmark!
Selected Documents and Links