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News ::
Canadian Citizen Jaoudat Abouazza Tortured in US Jail -- AUDIO
26 Jun 2002
An interview with Amer Jubran, member of the Jaoudat Abouazza Defense Comittee. On June 16, Jaoudat had four teeth removed against his will by a dentist at the Bristol County Jail in Massachusetdat in jail. He speaks here of the torture and efforts to investigate it.
(mp3, 21.4 megabytes, 14:51 minutes)

On the morning of Sunday June 16, Jaoudat Abouazza was restrained in a chair and tortured by a physician while in INS detention at the Bristol County Correctional Facility in North Dartsmouth, Massachusetts. The physician, aided by a prison guard, forcibly removed four molars from Jaoudat's mouth, ignoring his protests and breaking a tooth in the process. In great pain and still bleeding, Jaoudat was given cotton guaze and returned to his cell. One of the sockets became infected, and it was days before Jaoudat was administered antibiotics, only after the intervention of the Canadian Consulate. No report was filed diagnosing a medical necessity for the removal of his teeth, and at present, the government only admits to removing one molar.

Jaoudat Abouazza is a Canadian citizen. He was stopped by the Cambridge police and found to be driving without a valid drivers license. He was sent to INS detention on the night of May 30. During his time in jail, Abouazza has been subjected to physical abuse, verbal harrassment, solitary confinement, threats, and now torture. Alarmingly, Abouazza's arrest occurred the same day as the arrest of another foreign-born Palestinian rights activist in Illinois: Ahmed Bensouda. Both arrests came on the heels of high-profile Palestinian activist Faruk Abdel-Muhti's arrest in New York.

Jaoudat Abouazza has been a visible activist for Palestinian rights in the Boston area. Jaoudat's supporters are convinced that his treatment is an attempt to intimidate activists and silence growing public protest over the racist and genocidal campaign of the Israeli government against Palestinian people.

In the week following Jaoudat's torture, he was visited by members of Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Canadian Consulate, who all witnessed his missing teeth and lobbied for the administration of antibiotics for his infected jaw. Investigations are proceeding. Jaoudat has legal representation, but he has faced at least seven FBI interrogations without the presence of his lawyer. When he has refused to answer questions in the absence of his lawyer, he's been placed in solitary confinement.

Though extreme, Mr. Abouazza's situation is unfortunately not unique. Pakistani immigrant Mohammed Butt died in a New Jersey detention center last fall, and when relatives conducted an autopsy upon the arrival of his body in Pakistan, they determined the cause of death to be massive internal injuries due to beatings. More cases of INS detainees being beaten, threatened and harassed are coming to light as prison support groups make contact with a wave of detainees imprisoned in recent months.

Amer Jubran, another prominent activist for Palestinian rights, has visited Jaoudat numerous times. He saw Jaoudat the day of his torture and has since returned twice with Amnesty Internationl, the ACLU and Canadian officials. This audio is a segment of a long interview about Jaoudat's case. Mr. Jubran begins the interview with a description of their visit on Sunday June 16, hours after the torture. Discussion includes details of the government's claims, speculation about the political nature of the case, and efforts to support Jaoudat.

Jubran worries that Jaoudat's situation and health are precarious and urges the public to send letters of support to Jaoudat, as well as letters of protest to the INS at the following addresses:

Jaoudat Abouazza
Bristol County Jail and House of Correction
(North Dartmouth)
400 Faunce Corner Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747

UNIT#: 1 West
ID#: 120541
(include unit and id #'s on lower left of envelope)

USINS District Director Steven J. Farquarson
Room 1700, JFK Federal Building
Boston, MA 02203

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