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News ::
Emergency protest of INS arrests (english)
07 Jan 2003
Emergency Protest Outside the INS
Thursday, 1/9, Noon
JFK Federal Building, Boston
(Near the Government Center T stop)
Emergency Protest Outside the INS

Thursday, 1/9, Noon
JFK Federal Building, Boston
(Near the Government Center T stop)

December 16 was the first of three deadlines for the INS' new "Special
Registration" program, which requires immigrant men over the age of 16,
most of them Arab or Muslim, to register, in person, at local INS
offices if they are citizens of any of 20 listed countries.

In Southern California, hundreds and possibly thousands of people who
showed up at INS headquarters, trying to cooperate with the
requirements, were arrested on the spot and thrown together in crowded
detention facilities. In a December 20th Reuters report,
Iranian-American lawyer Sohelia Jonoubi describes their inhumane
treatment at the time of their detention:

"In one center, they were ordered to strip down and given a strip
search. They were only given a prison jumpsuit, without any
underwear,T-shirts, socks or shoes. They were not given blankets."

As the jails in California became overcrowded, detainees were sent to
different parts of the country. Many of those released now face
deportation proceedings. It should be stressed that although most of
reported arrests have come from major cities with strong community
networks, the Special Registration requirements were nationwide--it is
impossible to know how many immigrants in smaller cities or towns have
been summarily and silently detained. For the same reason, it is
impossible to judge how many detainees have been released.

The next INS deadline is January 10th, and targets immigrant men from
Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea,
Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
the mass arrests in December, it is possible that many innocent people
will be afraid to come forward. Failure to do so will nevertheless make
them liable to severe legal penalties and deportation.

The registration program itself is a form of racial and religious
persecution. Together with the mass arrests, it is a major assault on
fundamental human rights. Join us in front of the INS in Boston to
demand that the current detainees be released and that the Special
Registration program be ended.

Amer Jubran Defense Committee
ajdc (at)
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