Thursday, January 11, 2007

Family of Entrapped "Terrorist" Arrested

At 5:30am Tuesday morning, January 9th, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) arrested an entire Pakistani family - all active members of DRUM - from their home in Queens, just hours after a federal court judge sentenced their twenty-four year old son, Matin Siraj, to thirty years in prison for terrorism charges.

The racist War on Terror is destroying South Asian and Muslim communities and families. The migra is destroying all immigrant communities! We must unite and act to put an end to it!
From DRUM Nation: Desis Rising Up & Moving, via Ihsan: Entire Queens Family Arrested as Intimidation [with links added]
At 5am on the morning of January 9th, 2007, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raided the Queens home of and arrested three members (father, mother, and daughter) of the Siraj family, a tight-knit Pakistani family that has been caught up in the U.S. "War on Terror's" most recent act of racial and religious profiling.
Not to mention entrapment!
Tuesday's deplorable raid on the home of an innocent family is amongst dozens of other targeted, prejudiced sweeps across the country that are tearing Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities apart. The arrests occurred less than 12 hours after their young son, Shahawar Matin Siraj, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for alleged terrorism-related charges emerging from a clandestine NYPD-paid informant's entrapment.
What? Did somebody say "entrapment"?
ICE officials are currently falsely reporting that the family was arrested on immigration-related charges and that the father's appeal for an asylum case was "denied." The reality is that the father's appeal is still pending in the Second Circuit Court and has not been decided, and that the mother and teenage daughter do not have any immigration cases or deportation orders pending against them.
Ahhh, so it's simple harassment, then.
Given the high-profile media attention on their son's case, in which there were many underhanded legal irregularities and rights violations, these arrests are being seen by the community as an attempt to silence and make an example of the family through harassment.
Authorities probably don't want them talking.
The family maintains that their son was ensnared by an NYPD informant, evidence of which the court did not properly consider, resulting in an unfair trial and sentencing. The family has filed a notice of appeal for their son's case.
I wouldn't want them talking either.
Both the father and the mother have ongoing and severe medical conditions, and the mother was only allowed to take two days of medicine at the time of the arrests. All family members are currently being held at Elizabeth Detention Center in Elizabeth, NJ, but they may be moved or separated to different facilities.
And ICE has 'em? That's bad news. Really bad news.

What can we do about it?
DRUM [...] is calling on all concerned individuals and organizations to contact the ICE Field Office Director, at 973-645-3666 ext. 0, and demand that (a) the Siraj family be immediately released on their own recognizance or a reasonable bond, and, (b) that ICE stop targeting immigrant communities, in particular Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians.

DRUM is also calling on all people of conscience to call Warden Charlotte Collins at Elizabeth Detention Center, at 908-352-3776, to demand that (a) they provide urgent medical care and medication for the mother and father, and (b) that the Siraj family be kept together, particularly the mother and daughter not be separated, and, (c) to pro-actively facilitate direct communication and visitation between the family and their son, Matin, who is being held at Metropolitan Detention Center.

DRUM, alongside countless civil and human-rights organizations and concerned citizens will continue to expose the ongoing injustices of the "War on Terror" against this family and all targeted communities.

second in a series