Supporters of imprisoned Downtown Circle owner march to demand answers

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Although he’s in jail, the fight goes on to keep Amer “Al” Adi Othman in the United States and to finally get some answers.

Hundreds of people marched through downtown Youngstown Saturday to show their support for Al. He’s currently at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center.

“He’s been working for 29 years and paying taxes. My husband does not do anything wrong and he is not a criminal,” said Fidaa Musleh Adi, Al’s wife.

Al’s family says he doesn’t deserve to be in jail, but U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) isn’t saying much.

“I guess it’s confusing to us as to why ICE is demanding he be in jail when two weeks ago, he was leaving voluntarily. Him and my mom had tickets, their bags [were] packed, we sold our house,” said Lina Adi, one of Al’s daughters.

State Representative Michele Lepore-Hagan and Senator Joe Schiavoni received word from ICE that they can visit Al in jail on Sunday.

“We are concerned for his health. We know he’s in distress, we know he’s on a hunger strike and we know he’s innocent. And we see the hurt and suffering that his family is going through,” Lepore-Hagan said.

Protestors plan to march this week outside the jail, and legislators are asking people to stop by congressional and state offices and to email Governor Kasich to make their voices heard.

“He doesn’t deserve to be in jail. He was willing to leave, so what the purpose of jail is we don’t understand why ICE is being so inhumane,” Lina said.

The group marched from the business Al owns, Downtown Convenience Store and Deli, to the federal courthouse.