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A letter from Siham Byah, now in ICE custody



I am writing these lines from the Bristol County Jail, where I was brought upon my unjust, unwarranted, and uncalled for ambush-style arrest on Tuesday November 7th at the ICE headquarters where I was asked to come in prior to my original check-in date because “they now require people to check-in twice a year.” I have since been detained under inhumane conditions, and my son’s life has turned upside down. He has been forcibly removed from the comfort of his home with a police escort and taken to some complete stranger’s home, totally disregarding my repeated requests to have him placed with the designated people I had picked to care for him!

I had entered a hunger strike immediately after my arrest in protest, demanding a valid reason for it. However, even that basic right was coerced and extorted from me. This institution told me that if I continue to cry over what had happened to my son, that I would be strapped to a bed in the psych ward and stripped of my clothes. “Cry in the shower,” they suggested. Furthermore, I was taken promptly to a segregated solitary cell, and denied access to: meds, heat, books, writing material, access to my attorney/family/DCF [Massachusetts Department of Children and Families] unless I ended my hunger strike. When they finally allowed me a call to my attorney, they made it clear I was not to contact DCF or my family, in direct contradiction with their own regulations outlined in the handbook they handed me when I first got here. Faced with this cruel and unusual emotional blackmail, I was forced to take two bites out of my food tray so I could find out, at the very least, where my son is!

I would like to take a moment to give all of you who support my just cause a heartfelt “THANK YOU”! I remain steadfast in my belief that I deserve to be in my home, with my family where I belong. ICE [United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and this place will never succeed in breaking my spirits and my faith in justice is unwavering. As for the smear campaign ICE is running against me, I find it to be a low blow, even by ICE’s standards. Shame on them for trying to cover up their political retaliation against me by wrongly portraying me as a multiple felon or a “jihadist.” This is straight up political, and should never be allowed.

For up-to-the-minute updates, go to:

CALL ICE: 781-359-7500 press 4#, and tell the desk officer that you are calling for Siham Byah to be released and reunited with her son!

Can we please ask a favor?

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From Siham Byah’s lawyer, Matt Cameron, on Facebook:

“Siham identifies foremost as a humanist, and has suffered serious threats of death and violence from Islamic extremists for her outspoken views on women’s rights and (among other things) support from exile for the Arab Spring.”


ICE detaining single mother and political activist Siham Byah, rally planned in Boston

Boston rallies to free Siham Byah from ICE detention

Siham Byah remains a political prisoner of the United States, says lawyer


Siham Byah is a 40-year old single mother, her son is eight years old and an American citizen. She is a resident of Nahant, Massachusetts. United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has taken her into custody. Her attorney, Matt Cameron, has confirmed that ICE intends to deport Byah to Morocco.