Monday, January 15, 2007

Write an Urgent Support Letter

As mentioned in previous posts, a Muslim Pakistani family has been arrested and jailed as an intimidation tactic. Their home was raided the morning after their son was given a 30 year sentence on (false) terrorism charges, all part of an effort to silence an outspoken family. The mother and daughter have a bail bond hearing tomorrow in front of an immigration judge.

We are asking folks to write and sign a letter in support of the family. I am attaching a sample letter, which you can modify/personalize as necessary. Please fax it to 718-205-3036 ( or email to fahd@drumnation.org ) by 10am Tuesday morning. The letter can be from you personally or from your organization...putting your address is very helpful...

January 15, 2007

Honorable Judge Tadal
Executive Office of Immigration Review
625 Evans Street, Room 148A
Elizabeth, New Jersey 07201

Dear Judge Tadal,

SUBJECT: Release from Detention for Shahina Parveen and Sanya Siraj

I am writing to support the immediate release of Shahina Parveen and Sanya Siraj who have been held at Elizabeth Detention Center in New Jersey since Tuesday, January 9, 2007. I fully support the immediate release of both mother and daughter on recognizance or a reasonable bond.

As a matter of respecting civil rights and due process, I am concerned that the entire 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 usually warrant detention. Due to countless legal and constitutional irregularities connected to their son’s case, the family has overwhelming community support.

The Siraj family is a peace-loving family that has worked hard in this country for several years since escaping persecution in Pakistan. They are active in their civic and spiritual community, care deeply about civic and family matters, have no criminal records, and are simply looking to live peacefully with their family intact. They are 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, the family should be released on recognizance or a reasonable bond as they pose no threat to society and are deeply rooted within the community.

For a mother and daughter that have already lost their son and brother to imprisonment, their spirits and health are on the verge of breaking due to detention. If continuously detained, Mrs. Parveen and her family will be prevented from a fair opportunity to follow through on appealing for justice on their son’s case as well as resolving their own immigration matters through the asylum process. 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 Your Honor exercise compassion and justice for the Siraj family for their immediate release.

[Organization, if applicable]

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