About Me

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Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A horrific story that seems like a page from resigned Attorney General Alberto Gonazales' memos on torture

May be this couple can apply for his job, since they have the experience. Or even better, may be they can hire him as their lawyer. He can probably do it pro bono since he is an expert on ways to legalize and justify torture.

It is a shame what some humans are capable of doing to fellow humans, forgetting that God is All-Mighty, All Just.


Alleged slavery victim testifies of stunning abuse
Newsday (New York)
November 6, 2007

For almost six hours yesterday, the small Indonesian woman spoke about what she said were 5 1/2 years of semi-starvation and an incomprehensible gamut of abuse and cruelty in the home of a wealthy Muttontown couple.

The 51-year-old-woman, named Samirah, testified through a court interpreter at the federal trial of the couple, Varsha Sabhnani and her husband, Mahender. They are accused of enslaving Samirah and another Indonesian woman, Enung, 46, and also harboring them as illegal immigrants...

Samirah testified that she was beaten numerous times - with a rolling pin, a light brown umbrella, two short-handled bamboo brooms - plus was cut frequently with the point of an orange-bladed knife, scalded with boiling water, and pinched by Varsha Sabhnani's long fingernails so hard that they drew blood...

Samirah also testified about the time she said she was forced to work while wearing a pair of glasses whose lenses had been covered with plastic wrapping tape so she could barely see, and about the time she said she was stripped naked and had the tape wrapped over her body, head and eyes.

When the tape was pulled off, it took parts of her body hair with it, Samirah said...

The source of the abuse and torture, which occurred almost daily, Samirah said, was Varsha Sabhnani's belief that she did not meet her standards as a maid.

But Samirah said it was impossible to work to anyone's standards given the fact that she usually worked from 4 a.m. to past midnight, was dressed in rags without underwear, and did not have enough food to live on without eating from the Sabhnanis' garbage cans, or begging from two woman employees who worked in the office of the perfume business...

As another form of punishment, Samirah said, she was forced to eat dozens of hot chili peppers and tablespoons of hot chili powder.

The beatings and the forced eating of chili made her unable to control her bodily functions and she often vomited, urinated or defecated when being abused, she said.

One time, Samirah said that when she vomited, Varsha Sabhnani beat her and tried to force her to eat her own vomit. When she was was unable to do that, Sabhnani mixed the vomit with a liquid and salt and required her to drink that mixture, Samirah said...

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