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: https://www.facebook.com/FreeSiham/
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!
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.”