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Rabih Haddad

By Nicole Colson | June 21, 2002 | Page 10

CHICAGO--More than 70 activists turned out in the rain June 14 to protest the six-month anniversary of the racist detention of Rabih Haddad.

Haddad, a Muslim cleric from Ann Arbor, Mich., was arrested in December on charges of minor immigration violations. U.S. officials assert that the charity he co-founded, the Global Relief Foundation, was involved in aiding international terrorists--yet they still have not charged Rabih with a single crime connected to "terrorism."

In January, Haddad was transferred to Chicago's Metropolitan Detention Center--hundreds of miles from his family. And now the government has decided to try to deport not only Rabih, but also his wife and three of their four children.

But activists are mobilizing to stop this racist scapegoating. Members of the Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism, Women in Black, the International Socialist Organization and others rallied at the Metropolitan Detention Center, chanting, "Free Rabih Haddad, now!"

After marching to the Dirksen Federal Building, several marchers risked arrest by taping posters of Attorney General John Ashcroft that read "Wanted for Kidnapping" to the windows.

Demonstrators also raised chants to free Ahmed Bensouda, a University of Illinois student who was detained on a visa violation in May after participating in pro-Palestinian activism.

Activists are vowing to keep up the pressure until Ahmed Bensouda and Rabih Haddad--and all other victims of the Bush administration's witch-hunt against Arabs and Muslims--are free.

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