WBAI reporter targeted by feds
From: Mark S Bilk
Date: Sun Apr 28, 2002 2:31 pm
Subject: Palestinian Activist/WBAI Worker Arrested, To Be Deported
Faruk Abdel-Muhti has been assisting with WBAI's coverage of the mass-murder of Palestinians by Israel.
From: Marpessa Kupendua
From: Michael Novick
NYC Palestinian Activist Arrested at Home in Queens Press conference: Friday, April 26, 2002, at 4pm, in front of 26 Federal Plaza, in downtown Manhattan.
At around 6:30am on Friday, April 26, four men in civilian dress --three NYPD detectives and one agent of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)--accompanied by a group of uniformed police officers, came to the home of Bernard McFall and Faruk Abdel-Muhti at Lefrak City in Corona, Queens. The officers banged on the door loudly and said they wanted to ask Mr. Abdel-Muhti some questions about September 11. Mr. McFall asked if they had a warrant; they said they did not, and they claimed they did not need a warrant. The agents said they believed there were weapons and explosives in the apartment. Mr. McFall telephoned attorney Gilma Camargo of American Association of Jurists; when the officers threatened to break down the door and became verbally abusive, Ms. Camargo advised Mr. McFall to open the door in order to prevent a violent intrusion.
Mr. McFall opened the door, and the agents entered and asked to see Mr. Abdel-Muhti's identification; when he showed it to them they said he was under arrest for being in the US illegally. The agents handcuffed Mr. Abdel-Muhti, saying they were taking him to 26 Federal Plaza and that he would be deported. The agents took Mr. Abdel-Muhti away without searching the apartment.
Mr. Abdel-Muhti is a Palestinian community activist who is well- known in New York. It was the second time in three weeks that agents came to his home; his arrest is presumably politically motivated, even to the extent that INS agents stated that one of the reasons for arrest is Mr. Abdel-Muhti's outspoken critique of Israel's policies towards Palestinians. It comes amid a nationwide sweep of discriminatory police and INS raids against immigrants from the Middle East, South Asia and Northern Africa. Bernard McFall and Tarek Abdel-Muhti, Faruk's son, were in the apartment and witnessed the arrest. They are available for interview immediately at 718-760-8695. As well, his lawyer Kamal Franklin is available for comment at 718-875-1850.
There will be a 4pm press conference today in front of 26 Federal Plaza. Mr. McFall, Mr. Tarek Abdel-Muhti, Ms. Camargo and Mac Scott of the Coalition for the Human Rights of Immigrants (CHRI) will speak and will be available for interviews. CHRI is an immigrant rights activist group which has worked with Mr. Abdel- Muhti and is supporting him in his case.
We are asking people to call or fax the District Director of INS in New Jersey Andrea Quarantillo and demand she release Faruk Abdel-Muhti immediately Phone: 973-645-4421 Fax: 973-297-4848. Also call the Deputy Commissioner of NYPD to protest their collaboration with the INS on this arrest and other arrests of Immigrants Phone: 646-610-5420 Fax: 646-610-8482.
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