Sunday, April 17, 2005

Updated Urgent Appeal For Funds For A's And T's Families

Here's an updated appeal for A's and T's Families. It includes request for assistance with legal, housing, and other funds, and has some more details about what their respective situations are. Again, we need to raise at least $10,000 for T's family alone, in addition to A's family's needs, which are preliminarily sketched out below (this is likely to evolve). If you'd like a Word version of this file to print out, hang up, distribute, etc., visit here or here. If you have any trouble getting the file, please put a note in the comments. Please forward, crosspost, etc., this announcement.


Financial Crisis For Detained Teenagers’ Families

As you may have read recently in the New York Times and a number of other publications, two Muslim teenage girls have been detained. One is from Guinea, and the other is from Bangladesh. The government is using immigration law to jail these 16 year olds without charging them with a crime, holding secret proceedings against them without giving them access to the evidence that is being used against them, and slandering them in the media as “suicide bombers” without providing proof.

In fact, an FBI official told The New York Daily News, "Nobody here believes they are wanna-be suicide bombers." Another official at the Department of Homeland Security commented, "We're not spun up about this case." So why, then, are these young women in jail, cut off from their families? Why are their lives being ruined? This is an insane injustice.

Please open your hearts to both families. The family of A., the young Guinean woman, is in urgent need, and owes money to their lawyer. They have also lost their income, as the father has also been detained on immigration violations. As we learn more details about her situation, we may find they have other needs as well.

The young Bangladeshi woman, T., and her loved ones also face an enormous challenge. Her family needs to raise approximately $10,000 in the next three months just to get by. There are three children. The vast majority of the money would go towards housing, because the family has had to give up their apartment out of fear of surveillance or other threats to their safety. The remainder of expenses are for food, transportation and any legal expenses (although the lawyer is currently doing the case for free). Visits to the lawyer and to the detention center take 3 hours each way and cost money. It may also be necessary to fundraise for airline tickets for some family members in the future. There's enough money available right now from various sources to cover them for a few days, but their situation could become dire very soon.

We haven't yet factored in bond money for either young woman; if they are granted bond, it could tremendously increase the families’ respective financial burdens. Given everything these two families are going through with their daughters' jailing, isolation, and the media smear campaign by the government, those of us outside the direct situation need to help out. This is a horrifying crisis for both families.

CAIR-NY, a leading Islamic civil liberties organization that is involved in helping these two families and many others, has an Emergency Family Fund. To contribute to the fund, you can mail checks written to:

Emergency Family Fund / CAIR NY
c/o 9-11 relief program / Adem Carroll, ICNA
166-26 89th Avenue
Jamaica, NY, 11432
Donations are tax exempt

Update: You can now donate online through Paypal as well.

If you would like to direct your contribution to A and T and their families, please write that on your check. Otherwise, surplus donations to the fund will be used for the Emergency Family Fund for detainee families more generally. For more information, please contact Brother Adem at 718-658-7028 or visit Detention, the blog.


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