May 9, 2011

Government escalates crackdown on Midwest activists

According to the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, the bank accounts of a Chicago-area human rights activist Hatem Abudayyeh and his wife Naima were frozen on May 6. Abudayyeh is one of 23 Midwest activists ordered to appear before a federal grand jury, and his home was among those raided by the FBI in September. The Abudayyehs have a 5 year old daughter.

Take action Tuesday:
Call the Office of Foreign Assets Control at 202-622-2410 or 202-622-1651.

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

For more information, visit 

UPDATE 5/10/11: Victory, sort of... TCF Bank appears to have illegally frozen the accounts, and today promised to issue a check for their value. The Committee to Stop FBI Repression reports:
Michael Deutsch, attorney for the family, said, “In my opinion, the bank did not act out of the blue. I suspect that the FBI and U.S Attorney investigation caused the bank to overreact and illegally freeze the Abudayyehs’ banking accounts that had been there for over a decade.”
In response to the seizing of the couple’s accounts, people across the country called the offices of US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in Chicago, and those of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) demanding the return of their money and an end to the repression.

A Code Pink activist from Washington, D.C., called Fitzgerald’s office and was told, “We’ve received hundreds of calls.” The OFAC office was bombarded as well, and journalists from a National Public Radio affiliate, Al Jazeera and other agencies contacted them for an explanation.

TCF is well known for having links to the right-wing think tank the Center for the American Experiment.

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