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2002-04-09

A Pakistani Immigrant Sues the City of New York for $45 Million: He Says Police Officers Beat Him Up On the Six-Month Anniversary of the September 11th Attacks

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On March 11, the 6 month anniversary of the September 11 attacks, most Americans reflected on the day 2 planes toppled the towers of the World Trade Center and crashed into the Pentagon, killing some 3,000 people. Many also reflected on the changes last six months have brought.

But March 11 was very different for Raja Aftab Iqbal, a Pakistani immigrant living in Brooklyn, and several police officers from Precinct 70 (of Abner Louima fame). On that day, Raja Iqbal says police officers began harassing him. He says they yelled "Taliban" and other slurs, pushed him to the ground, beat him up, arrested him, and threw him in jail. Afterwards, Iqbal says he was released and told not to report the incident.

Raja Iqbal, with the help of human rights activists and one of Abner Louima’s lawyers, is suing the City of New York for $45 million.

We’re joined by Bobby Khan, an advocate for the Pakistani community in Brooklyn. He is a longtime pro-democracy activist in Pakistan in the 1980s who was arrested some 40 times and still has 3 bullets lodged in his body. We’ll also talk about Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf’s decision to hold a national referendum to extend his term by 5 years, circumventing the entire election process. Religious groups and Pakistan’s main alliance of political parties have vowed to boycott the referendum. Yesterday, Pakistani police broke up a demonstration by an opposition party and arrested all 15 participants.

Guests:

  • Bobby Khan, community advocate for the Pakistani community in Brooklyn, working with the Coney Island Avenue Project.
  • Sanford Rubenstein, attorney for Raja Aftab Iqbal. Was also the attorney for Abner Louima.

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