11 Nov 2008

10,000 sign Samoan petition to free Keil in US

1:47 pm on 11 November 2008

A petition with close to 10,000 signatures in Samoa has been presented to the US embassy in protest at the arrest of Hans-Joachim Keil in the US.

The associate minister is being held in the state of Missouri under bail conditions as a result of two immigration charges against him relating to his holding of a US citizenship.

The petition was handed over after a peaceful march, amidst tight security at the U.S. embassy office in Apia where only two people were allowed in to present it.

Our correspondent, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says he was told by one of the petition presenters Mark Moors that the petition will be passed on the US secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

"The spokesman of the march Mr Moore, speaking to several reporters after presenting the petition, was saying that the petition is for the U.S. government to reconsider the decision in which they arrested the associate minister and the charges against him. And also a call for the U.S. government, if those charges are still pending in court, to release Mr Keil to travel back to Samoa and to return at the time of the court case."

Our correspondent in Apia Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia