Abdel-Muhti was placed in the Bergen County jail on October 30, and on November 19 was assaulted by his jailers there. The Committee to Free Farouk Abdel-Muhti reported that prison authorities, singling him out for his political views, confiscated his personal possessions, including the Militant and other reading material, and denied him medical treatment. The next day a disciplinary report was filed against him in which he was charged with concealing medicine. Abdel-Muhti, who is 56 and in poor health, was denied medical attention for a week.
Abdel-Muhti is well known in the New York area for his work on behalf of the Palestinian struggle and in defense of the Cuban Revolution. Before his arrest, he had been hosting a regular program on WBAI radio in New York on the resistance by Palestinians in the occupied territories.
The immigration cops say they are holding him on the basis of a 1995 deportation order. Although they had not acted on this order for the previous seven years, early in the morning of April 26, 2002, immigration agents and New York cops showed up at his apartment, claiming they wanted to question him about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. They threatened to break down the door, asserting that they believed there were weapons and explosives in the apartment. Once insidewithout a warrantthey arrested him and carted him off to jail.
On December 6 supporters of Abdel-Muhtis fight against deportation rallied in York, Pennsylvania, where he had been held nine months prior to his imprisonment in Bergen County. Organizers of the protest report that some 50 people turned out to call for his release and to speak out against other attacks on immigrant rights. The local media reported that the police response to the protest included police in riot gear, undercover cops videotaping protesters and the media, and explosive detection units.
Letters to demand the release of Farouk Abdel-Muhti can be sent to David Venturella at the Office of Detention and Removal, Department of Homeland Security: fax (202)353-9435; telephone (202)514-8663; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, with copies to the defense committee at email@example.com.
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