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2005-04-26

Remembering Farouk Abdel-Muhti: Three Year Anniversary of Detention of Palestinian Activist

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Today marks the third anniversary of the arrest and imprisonment of Palestinian human rights activist Farouk Abdel-Muhti. He was jailed for two years without charge. He died last summer just three months after being released. We hear an excerpt of an address he gave the day after his release. [includes rush transcript]

Today marks the third anniversary of the arrest and imprisonment of Palestinian human rights activist Farouk Abdel-Muhti. He was jailed for two years without charge. He died last summer just three months after being released.

In March 2002, Farouk began working regularly at Pacifica Radio station WBAI. He used his contacts to arrange interviews with Palestinians in the Occupied Territories on the morning radio program "Wake-Up Call."

Farouk was detained one month later, on April 26, 2002. He was jailed in various facilities around the country for two years. He was never charged with a crime. He was often held in solitary confinement, subjected to extensive interrogation, and often denied food. His health was failing but he remained handcuffed and shackled whenever he went to the health clinic. Two years after his detention, a federal judge ordered Farouk to be deported, charged or released. He walked out of prison on April 12, 2004.

On July 21, 2004, after giving a speech at the Ethical Society in Philadelphia, Farouk’s head fell to the table. He collapsed and died shortly afterwards. His last words were "I believe nobody can stop the Palestinian struggle and I believe it’s not going to stop, our insistence for rights."

To commemorate the third anniversary of his arrest we bring you an excerpt of Farouk speaking the day after his release from prison. He addressed a crowd of hundreds at Cooper Union Hall.

  • Farouk Abdel-Muhti, speaking in New York City, April 13, 2004.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Farouk Abdel-Muhti in New York City on April 13, 2004.

FAROUK ABDEL-MUHTI: The people fight hard. My thanks to all of you, because I’m a small atom of your society and your communities. And I thanks to the WBAI and Radio Pacifica and Democracy Now! to support me and to continue this struggle to our — and I win in this moment the freedom, but still our struggle continues, because this war is a war for rights, for justice, the rights of the detainees, immigrants and the right of all of the people fighting for justice and equality and against racism and oppression. And we continue this struggle until we win.

AMY GOODMAN: Farouk Abdel-Muhti, speaking last April. He was arrested three years ago today. He died this past summer.

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