Friday, December 19, 2003

ANTHOTHER AZAN UPDATE

For background start here and scroll up.

Azan appeared in a Peurto Rican court either Wednesday or Thrusday morning for a preliminary hearing. He was still not provided with a lawyer so one wonders exactly how the process went but I'm not in Peurto Rico so I only know the result. Azan was released on bail ($5000 U.S) and will be allowed to return to his home in New York pending his trial set for January 7, 2004, in Peurto Rico.

This is the good news. It seems as if the legal system still has to treat people with some measure of fairness and justice, unlike the border guards Azan ran into. However, it is still important to remember, as I pointed out here that this entire situation should not have occurred in the first place.

The bad news is that Azan still does not have a lawyer. The American officials don't seem too interested in getting him one and I don't think Azan would want him/her anyway. Azan's friends are currently looking for an American or Canadian lawyer knowledgeable of immigration laws and such, and preferably with strong human rights connections, to take his case. If anyone has any suggestion let me know. Further, I have learned that Azan has also been charged with 'working without a visa'. Now, once again, I don't have all the details of this case, but this charge seems very odd because I do know that Azan has been working in the U.S for almost ten years for a major New York advertising agency (or something). He has a U.S social security number and all the proper residency papers. It would seem odd for him not to have his visa in order. Is there something too this, or is it another 'bogus' charge? I suspect the latter.

To all those who have been following this story and particularly those who have posted about it (Pogge, Talk Left, Damn Foreigner, Mambrino's Helmet and any I missed) I thank-you on behalf of Azan and his friends. I have been told that Randolph Azan's spirits were lifted when he heard that his story was news in Canada and that there were people who cared about his situation.

More updates as they come.

Posted by Matthew @ 1:23 AM