Regional
10:34 am
Tue October 20, 2009

Detained Human Rights Activist Does Not Want Asylum

El Paso – An attorney for a Mexican human rights official jailed by immigration officials says his client doesn't want asylum in the U.S. and wasn't seeking it when he crossed the border last week.

Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson is the human rights official for Chihuahua state, which includes Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Although he has complained about abuses by the Mexican army and has said he fears for his life, he often visits El Paso legally.

De la Rosa's lawyer, Carlos Spector, says the official's asylum case was forced on him last week after he was taken into protective custody Thursday after repeating those claims under questioning from U.S. border agents.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say they were required by law to detain de la Rosa since Customs and Border Protection authorities at the border concluded he was seeking asylum.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.