Haddad's wife, Salma Al-Rashaid, has emerged as a leader in her own right during the fight to secure justice for her husband. Now, in a transparent attempt at political retaliation, the feds recently began steps to deport Salma and three of their four children, ages 3-1/2 to 12 years old. After returning home from a Chicago rally at the federal detention center at which she was the keynote speaker, Salma found letters from the INS announcing the deportation proceedings. Tragically, given that Al-Rashaid is a Kuwaiti national and her husband is from Lebanon, the deportation order threatens to permanently break up the family.
The Emergency Response Committee of the Chicago Coalition Against War & Racism is calling on all who believe in justice to call US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald - 312.353.5300. Please demand that he release Haddad immediately and stop the deportation proceedings.
His detention by the INS in Michigan and his subsequent transfer last Thursday to Chicago's Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) has drawn national attention - and opposition from civil liberties advocates throughout the country. Ann Arbor residents and two members of Congress, Lynn Rivers (D-Ann Arbor) and John Conyers (D-Detroit), have vigorously opposed the Lebanese native's detainment, and this month the Ann Arbor City Council and the Michigan Student Assembly passed resolutions supporting Haddad's right to a fair trial.
Melinda Power of the National Lawyers' Guild condemned both Haddad's transfer from a Michigan facility near his family and his detention at the MCC. "His incarceration is a gross violation of due process and civil liberties, and an example of the kind of dangerous excess the government continues to commit under the name of the 'war on terrorism.' The legislation the government uses to justify these attacks, including the PATRIOT Act, threatens the basic freedoms of all of us, and must be opposed."
Haddad has reportedly been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand
jury in Chicago, in a move believed related to prosecutors' efforts to
add criminal charges to financial sanctions against two Muslim charities
with Chicago offices, Benevolence International and the Global Relief Foundation,
which Haddad cofounded in 1992. Authorities froze the groups' assets in
December for allegedly funneling money to al Qaeda, a charge flatly denied
by Haddad's attorneys and the charities. While the U.S. attorney's office
has refused to comment on Haddad's status - and has produced no evidence
against either Haddad or Global Relief - Haddad's supporters charge that
he has been targeted as part of a federal witch-hunt that is employing
new legislation in the wake of September 11 that scapegoats immigrants
and thwarts due process.