17 Sep 2002

American Samoan resident takes legal action over a what he sees as race based entry permit policy

5:48 pm on 17 September 2002

A United States citizen living in American Samoa says a ban on the issuing of entry permits to people of Middle Eastern descent is an over reaction by the government to threats of terrorism.

Michael Homsany, who is of Middle Eastern descent, says under the proposal he will not be able to re-enter American Samoa if he leaves it despite his territorial and US citizenship.

Mr Homsany, who has been living in the Territory for 15 years, has filed a complaint in the High Court in Pago Pago saying that the entry permit violates the US and American Samoan Constitutions.

He says there is little likelihood of a terrorist attack in the Territory.

"I personally feel that the level of threat is far over stated and particularly here in American Samoa the level of threat is so low as to be negligible. Blanket discrimination is just wrong that's like what happened in Nazi Germany."

Michael Homsany in American Samoa