New York Supporters Mark 10th Anniversary Of Local Palestinian Activist’s Arrest
April 24, 2012
Contact: David L. Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Friends and supporters of the late Farouk Abdel-Muhti are meeting in Lower Manhattan the evening of April 26 to remember the New York-based Palestinian activist on the tenth anniversary of his arrest by U.S. immigration authorities. Abdel-Muhti remained in detention for almost two years despite an intense campaign for his release. He died of a heart attack just three months after he was finally set free.
Additional background on Farouk Abdel-Muhti: http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2012/wilson240312.html
Film screening and discussion to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the arrest of Farouk Abdel-Muhti
Among the participants in the April 26 event will be Center for Constitutional Rights attorney Shayana Kadidal, who since working on the Abdel-Muhti case has served as Senior Managing Attorney for the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative; MacDonald Scott, now a legal representative with No One Is Illegal Toronto; and filmmaker Konrad Aderer, who produced a documentary on the case, “Enemy Alien.”
The film, which connects Abdel-Muhti’s imprisonment to Aderer’s own family history and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, will be shown as part of the program.
Abdel-Muhti’s arrest drew attention at the time in part because the government detained him about a month after he began producing live interviews for local radio station WBAI with activists in Gaza and the West Bank.
The campaign for his release was also significant as a test of the Supreme Court’s 2001 decision in Zadvydas v. Davis, which set a six-month limit in most cases for the detention of immigrants awaiting deportation. As a stateless Palestinian, Abdel-Muhti could not be deported. The government knew this, but still managed to keep him imprisoned for two years in a process that the federal judge in the case described as “Kafkaesque.”
Abdel-Muhti’s supporters say the arrest is still relevant now, at a time when the New York Police Department tries to justify spying on Muslims engaged in peaceful activities and a ranking House Republican, Lamar Smith of Texas, feels free to joke that immigration detention is a “holiday.” “It’s not clear how much we’ve learned in the past ten years,” Abdel-Muhti supporter David Wilson says. “We still have a lot of work to do.”
The participants will be available for interviews by arrangement.
Resources: Website: http://enemyalien.org/
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