US Rep: Ban Foreign Officials Holding Americans Unjustly

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A US Congressman is proposing legislation that would ban foreign officials whose countries are holding Americans without due process. (Photo credit should read MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/GettyImages)

A US Congressman is proposing legislation that would ban foreign officials whose countries are holding Americans without due process. (Photo credit should read MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/GettyImages)

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — A U.S. congressman involved in efforts to free a New York man who says he’s been wrongly jailed in Bolivia, says he will introduce legislation to hold accountable foreign officials violating the due process and human rights of imprisoned Americans.

Rep. Chris Smith, chair of the House human rights subcommittee, said Wednesday his bill, “Justice for Imprisoned Americans Overseas Act,” or “Jacobs Law,” would ban travel to the U.S. by the officials while Americans “unjustly languish in their prisons.”

The New Jersey Republican has been involved in the case of Jacob Ostreicher, who has been jailed in Bolivia for over a year and whose daughter is from Lakewood, N.J.

Ostreicher made an in rice farming and says he was swindled by an associate who turned out to have been involved with a drug trafficker.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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