For Immediate Release (#56)

September 12, 2001

Contact: Kani Xulam, 202.483.6444 or Adam Eidinger, 202.232.8997

WASHINGTON, DC – American Kurdish Information Network (AKIN) sponsored Vigil at Sheridan circle was attacked last night by an unidentified man wielding a large knife. The man shouted obscenities and began slashing the signs. He then hurled what sounded like racial slurs at the person on duty and left the area as quickly with a part of our sign, apparently, as a “trophy”.

The assault coming as it does on the heels of one of the worst attacks on the United States and its citizens suggests that the perpetrator felt free to avenge his anger against anybody who might be from the Middle East.

As members of a small immigrant community from Kurdistan regions of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, we join the rest of the nation, and the world for that matter, in condemning these brutal attacks on the United States and its citizens. Our condolences go to the loved ones of all those who perished in these attacks. May the souls of their loved ones rest in peace.

“Last night, President Bush went on the air and told a grieving and defiant nation that Freedom had been attacked. Our Vigil in its 192nd day for the freedom of four Kurdish Parliamentarians, unfortunately, also came under attack,” noted Kani Xulam the coordinator of the Vigil at Sheridan Circle. “Just as America will not bow to the pressure in the defense of liberty, our vigil will continue for the love of freedom,” said Mr. Xulam.

The United States Park Police who monitor the Vigil at the Sheridan Circle were notified immediately. Descriptions of the attacker with the details of his actions were reported within minutes.

The small American Kurdish community in this country knows first hand what it means to be attacked by those who disregard the laws of humanity. “Our loved ones have been gassed in Iraq by chemical and biological weapons and are subjected to a campaign of genocide in Turkey — often with an indifferent world looking the other way,” said Mr. Xulam. “Evil unrestrained has now shown its ugly face in America; we hope and pray the children of freedom will fight it everywhere to stop humanity from slipping into the abyss,” noted Mr. Xulam.