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IMC Radio Interview: FBI/INS Political Prisoner Ahmed Bensouda

Recorded live on the IMC-Madison audio webcast, an interview with Ahmed Bensouda, by phone from INS detention facility in DuPage County. Fellow activists Hadeel Assali and Matthew Quest also joined the conversation from Champaign-Urbana.
segment 1: 18.50 MB, 40:41; segment 2: 22.10 MB, 48:28
Anti-authoritarian Palestinian-rights activist Ahmed Bensouda
was arrested from his home on May 30. Also arrested on that day was well known Palestinian activist and Boston resident Jaoudat Abouazza. Both were imprisoned for technical immigration violations.

In Ahmed's words at the start of the interview:

"I was picked up by the FBI on May 30th. They came to my apartment and picked me up for what they said at the time was immigrations violation. After that I was taken to Champaign County Jail and interrogated by the FBI and then put in a lockup for the night, and then picked up by the INS the next day and taken to Sangamon County jail where I was held by a week, supposedly detained by the INS, and questioned again by the FBI about links to terrorism and questioned like that. I was then transferred up to DuPage County Jail. I've been housed here since then."

Beginning with an overview of Ahmed's arrest, transport and imprisonment, the conversation covered the implications of a nascent wave of detentions targeting Palestinian rights activists, Ahmed's explicit anti-authoritarian stance, organizing national support for the thousands of immigrant political prisoners, the connections between the struggles faced by the Palestinian and African-American communities, the USA-PATRIOT Act, "homeland security," the divestment from Israel campaign and other topics.

Interviewed by Chris Geovanis IMC-Chicago, Dick Reilly IMC-Chicago, and Wajid Jenkins IMC-Madison.

NOTE: the webcast was interrupted numerous times by technical server failures, causing engineering difficulties and other problems. I have edited out the truncated parts. In an effort to duplicate lost segments of the live interview, we asked some questions more than once. Forgive the flaws in these files: occasional heavily over-modulated sections and some redundancy in theme.

Click here to access to hear both segments of the interview.

Click here to read recent background coverage on IMC-Urbana-Champaign.




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