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March 24, 2002
Hamoui Family - Demonstration 3/28 4:00 PM



The Arab American Community Coalition is holding a demonstration next Thursday 28 March at 4pm in front of the INS building (815 Airport Way South).

Since 9/11 there have been numerous FBI/INS arrests, interrogations, and detentions of Moslem immigrants from Arab, South Asian and East African countries. Several hundreds remain in detention around the country.

On February 22, three members of a local Syrian immigrant family were taken from their home at gun point by the FBI and the INS and are now in detention at the INS building. They were picked up under the new absconder initiative put out by the Secretary of State, which blatantly targets Moslems, Arabs, south Asians, and East Africans.

Due to bad legal advice from three previous lawyers, the Hamoui family has been denied many rights. On advice of incompetent counsel the family did not report to INS in August 2000, which is why they were arrested and continue to be jailed.

The Hamoui family has lived in Lynnwood nearly ten years. Safouh, age 51, owns a small business. Safouh and Hanan have five children including a young boy that is a US citizen and another young girl. Both of these children are seriously distressed and being looked after by an uncle, but Nadin the 20 year old daughter is in detention as well.

An immediate concern is Hanan's failing health. As a sufferer of Crohn's disease, she was recently hospitalized overnight but was returned in the morning to INS detention. Her doctor has recommended that she be released from detention immediately and receive a thorough evaluation. She is not receiving proper medical attention in the INS jail.

Also, there is very real fear of deportation to Syria, which would result in not only the break up of the family but the very real possibilty of torture and death. United Nation's conventions clearly prohibit deportation of immigrants and refugees to any country where their lives might be endangered.

We are demanding the release of the Hamoui family. They are not a flight risk and pose no danger to our community. More importantly, Hanan needs proper medical attention and the family needs to be reunited. We demand this family BE given a chance in the system. Their situation is critical.

Please endorse this rally. Please join us next Thursday March 28th at 4:00 P.M. in front of INS.

For any questions call Rita Zewaidah at 545-7300 or Lena Kalef at lenakt@hotmail.com


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