Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Family Update & Support Actions

As Salaam u Alaikum

*pls. fwd to your networks*


A quick update on the Siraj family's situation and another quick support action(s) needed.

First, on behalf of the family and DRUM, we are deeply moved and strengthened by the beautiful show of solidarity that you've shown...thank you for your letters, attending the rally, and general support! Almost 40 of us, allies, took the entire day on Tuesday to demonstrate support of the family outside Elizabeth Detention Center while the mother & daughter's bond was decided: the Judge agreed to release them on bond (a victory!) but set it at an outrageous, forbidding amount: $35,000 total for both. The family & supporters are now scrambling to raise the bond and we're hoping that the mother and daughter will be released soon. The attorney reported that they are visibly traumatized. From our visit last week, we were humbled by the family's deep strength and courage to fight for justice.

At this juncture, two urgent needs:
1. The father is still detained. Please sign the letter of support for his release (attached & pasted below) and email it IMMEDIATELY to: fahd@drumnation.org FAX is preferred, if you can, to the attorney at: 212-233-4877 Please respond in the next 24 hours if you can so they reach the Dept of Homeland Security in time! **Organizational letterhead is best if you're affiliated, but your personal name and address helps, too.**
2. The family is in desperate financial circumstances and needs support for basic survival, attorney's fees, and exorbitant bond. Please donate what you can. Checks for over $50 (tax-deductible) should be made to our fiscal sponsor: AJ Muste with "DRUM, Siraj Support Fund" in the memo line. Checks for under $50 (non-tax deductible) directly to: DRUM with "Siraj Support Fund" in the memo line. MAIL to: DRUM, PO Box 720187, Jackson Heights, NY 11372

Again, thank you for your incredible support as we continue fighting for this family's freedom and the larger political attack on our communities. For more information on Tuesday's hearing, read our most recent press release at DRUM's website

rab rakha,

January 17, 2007

Officers Cozine and Taylor
Elizabeth Detention Center
625 Evans Street, Room 148A
Elizabeth, New Jersey 07201

Dear Officer Cozine and Taylor,

SUBJECT: Release from Detention for Siraj Abdul Rehman

I am writing to support the immediate release of Siraj Abdul Rehman who has been held at Elizabeth Detention Center in New Jersey since Tuesday, January 9, 2007. I fully support his immediate release on recognizance or a reasonable bond.

In respect of civil rights and due process, as Mr. Rehman's entire family was detained on Tuesday January 9th, I am concerned that the Siraj family was indiscriminately chosen for arrest due to the alleged charges of terrorism against their young son, Siraj Matin. Approximately 12 hours after receiving the devastating news of an indiscriminate and lengthy sentence for their son, they were arrested for relatively minor immigration violations that do not necessitate detention. Due to countless legal and constitutional irregularities connected to their son's case, the family has overwhelming community support, and the family should not be punished through detention for pursuing justice for their son.

The Siraj family is a peace-loving family that has worked hard in this country for several years since escaping persecution in Pakistan. Mr. Rehman is hard-working, cares deeply about civic and family matters, has no criminal record, and is simply looking to live peacefully with their family intact. The family is deeply rooted in New York's South Asian community and are absolutely committed to staying in this country in order to seek justice in their son's criminal case as well as to apply for asylum. In no way does the family pose a flight risk due to their deep commitments, obligations, and solid community roots. As such, Mr. Rehman should be released on recognizance or a reasonable bond as he poses no threat to society, is not a flight risk because he intends to pursue an appeal in his son's case, and is deeply rooted within the community.

For a father that has already lost his son to imprisonment, Mr. Rehman's spirit and health is on the verge of breaking due to detention. If continuously detained, Mr. Rehman will be prevented from a fair opportunity to follow through on appealing for justice for his son's case as well as being separated from his wife and daughter who are in desperate financial and emotional states. If deported, a young son will be left to perish in prison and the lives of an entire, peace-loving family will be ruined. I respectfully request that ICE exercises compassion and justice for Mr. Rehman in granting release.


[name, address, organization, if applicable]

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