Arab-American Demonstration

From The Arab Voice

January 26, 2002

Last Monday, more than 500 demonstrators from New Jersey and New York City gathered at the Essex County jail, braving the rain, to demonstrate solidarity with prisoners detained for violations of United States immigration law.

A number of Arab immigrants participated in the demonstration, alongside Americans from religious and human rights organizations. The demonstrators demanded that the prisoners be given fair treatment, criticizing the lengthy periods for which prisoners were held without a court appearance. They carried signs and chanted slogans that called for the men to be treated humanely according to the principles of human rights.

In a short speech, Jerry Speziale, the sheriff of Essex County, said that his office was treating the prisoners humanely, and that the jail was so clean that you could eat off the floor. He promised the demonstrators that the prisoners were being treated according to the principles of human rights and receiving full protection from the sheriff's office. He assured them that swift justice would soon deliver the prisoners to a formal hearing and a determination of their cases. It is confirmed that the United States is holding 1,600 prisoners apprehended after the events of September 11 for immigration violations. None have yet received a formal hearing on the denial of their due-process rights. Translated from Arabic by Colin Brayton


(Translated from Arabic by Colin Brayton)

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