Al-Awda Mourns the Death of Farouk Abdel Muhti

For Immediate Release 24 July 2004 Al-Awda, The Palestine Right To Return Coalition mourns the tragic death of Palestinian activist Farouk Abdel Muhti. Farouk, who addressed Al-Awda’s international convention in […]

For Immediate Release 24 July 2004

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right To Return Coalition mourns the tragic death of Palestinian activist Farouk Abdel Muhti. Farouk, who addressed Al-Awda’s international convention in New York this past April, fought unselfishly for Palestinian refugee rights and for the rights of all other oppressed and dispossessed peoples around the world. As a stateless Palestinian, Farouk stood against imperialism and oppression in Palestine and everywhere. His dedicated work and example will live on.

We, in Al-Awda, know that Farouk would want us to redouble our efforts for the right to return, for a free Palestine, and for freedom, justice and equality. He would consider such efforts as a great gift in celebration of his life that we now honor.

Donations have been requested to help cover Farouk’s funeral expenses. Please make checks payable to CHRI (Coalition for the Human Rights of Immigrants), write “Farouk” on the memo line, and send to CHRI, 330 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012. Any excess funds will go toward work against immigration detention and toward assistance for Farouk’s family. These contributions are not tax-deductible.

Below is the statement from the Committee to Free Farouk Abdel-Muhti, the group that spearheaded Farouk’s defense effort during the two years he spent as a political prisoner of the US Bureau Immigration and Customs Enforcement:

Farouk Abdel-Muhti, 1947-2004

On the evening of Wednesday, July 21, 2004, as he finished speaking at an event in Philadelphia, New York City-based Palestinian activist Farouk Abdel-Muhti lost consciousness. Paramedics tried unsuccessfully to revive him at the scene, and he was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead around 10 pm. His close friend Sharin Chiarazzo was at his side. The cause of death has not been determined.

Farouk was speaking at a panel discussion titled “Detentions and Torture: Building Resistance,” at the Philadelphia Ethical Society, giving personal testimony on his experience being detained for nearly two years and focusing on the struggle to build a movement against detentions.

Farouk’s family and friends are devastated and in shock. Farouk would have celebrated his 57th birthday in a few weeks, on August 9th. While his health had not recovered from his two years in detention (including eight months in solitary confinement), no one suspected his life was at risk.

We will let you know about funeral arrangements as soon as we can.

Democracy Now has a story on Farouk’s passing, and has posted a recording of his final speech: //www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/07/22/1349215