Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Update on Frozen Bank Accounts - More action needed

Call the Office of Foreign Assets Control at 202-622-1649 or 202-622-2420

Committee to Stop FBI Repression (stopfbi.net)

Treasury Department freezes bank accounts of Palestinian human rights
activist and his family.
Office of Foreign Assets Control (a division of the U.S. Dept of
Treasury) is the source of escalated attack on civil Liberties of
Anti-War, Palestinian Activists

Take action this afternoon and Tuesday:
Call the Office of Foreign Assets Control at
202-622-1649 or 202-622-2420.

Unfreeze the bank accounts of the Abudayyeh family
Stop repression against Palestinian, anti-war and international
solidarity activists.

On Friday, May 6, the U.S. government froze the bank accounts of
Hatem Abudayyeh and his wife, Naima. It appears that this is being
done by the Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

This unwarranted attack on a leading member of the Palestinian
community in Chicago is the latest escalation of the repression of
anti-war and Palestinian community organizers by the US government.
Hatem Abudayyeh is one of 23 activists from Minnesota, Michigan, and
Illinois subpoenaed to a federal grand jury in Chicago, and his home
was raided by the FBI in September of last year.

One of the bank accounts was exclusively in Naima Abudayyeh's name.
Leaders of the national Committee to Stop FBI Repression, as well as
Chicago's Coalition to Protect People's Rights, are appalled at the
government's attempt to restrict the family's access to its finances,
especially so soon before Mothers' Day. The Abudayyehs have a
five-year-old daughter.

Supporters of the Abudayyehs and the other 22 activists have learned
that apparently OFAC can block your assets pending an investigation
on charges of "material support for a foreign terrorist organization"
without a hearing. No evidence is required to freeze assets. In the
case of the Abudayyeh family, assets mean money for food and rent. As
this statement is written, officials won't even acknowledge that they
are the source of the freeze.

There has been widespread criticism of the FBI and local law
enforcement for their racist practices against Arab and Muslim
communities across the country. These repressive tactics include
infiltration of community centers and mosques, entrapment of young
men, and the prominent case of 11 students from the University of
California campuses at Irvine and Riverside who have been subpoenaed
to a grand jury and persecuted for disrupting a speech by Michael
Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the US. There have been no charges
against Abudayyeh or any of the other 22 activists; this action by
the U.S. government is another example of the criminalization of
Palestinians, their supporters, and their movement for justice and liberation.

Six members of the U.S. Congress, including five in the past month,
have sent letters to either Attorney General Eric Holder or President
Obama, expressing grave concern for the violations of the civil
liberties and rights of the 23 activists whose freedom is on the
line. Three additional U.S. representatives have also promised
letters, as thousands of constituents and other people of conscience
across the U.S. have demanded an end to this assault on legitimate
political activism and dissent.

The Midwest activists have been expecting indictments for some time.
The freezing of the Abudayyeh family's bank accounts suggests that
the danger of indictments is imminent.

In solidarity,
The Committee to Stop FBI Repression

Our mailing address is:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
PO Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55415

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