Statement by Muslim Abuumar on his Deportation from Brazil due to US & Zionist Interference

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network reiterates our strongest solidarity with Muslim Abuumar, the Palestinian scholar who was deported from Brazil with his family despite holding a valid visa to visit his brother, who has lived in Brazil for many years. This case is particularly concerning because it involves the interference of the U.S. Embassy, and reportedly the U.S. State Department, in Brazilian policing and immigration systems.

The Palestinian resistance organizations are neither criminalized nor labeled as “terrorists” in Brazil, and yet the U.S. has, once again, sought to apply its domestic repressive legislation and “terror list” on the international scene. Of course, the U.S. is also providing billions of dollars in funding to the Zionist regime currently carrying out a genocide in Gaza, and has always served as the long-term imperialist sponsor of the Zionist colonial project in Palestine. We condemn in the strongest terms this U.S. interference in Brazilian and Palestinian affairs and urge Brazil to reverse this decision and immediately welcome back Muslim Abuumar and his family, as well as to cut all diplomatic, military and trade ties with the Zionist regime. 

Muslim Abuumar’s statement (originally on Twitter/X) is republished below:

*Press Statement on the Unfortunate Decision of the Brazilian Federal Police to Ban Me from Entering the Country*

I have just arrived at my home in Kuala Lumpur after an unsuccessful family trip, to visit my brother in Brazil, that was unfortunately hindered by Zionist intervention, clearly due to my academic activities in support of the Palestinian struggle.

This arduous journey included an unjust decision by the Federal Police to prevent my entry into Brazil issued upon the orders of an imperialist foreign country that actively sponsors the ongoing Israeli genocide in Gaza. Upon my arrival at Guarulhos International Airport in Sao Paulo on Friday (June 21, 2024) evening, several police officers approached me at the entrance of the airport and took me, together with my family, for interrogation. The questions centered on my political views and academic activities in support of the Palestinian cause. I was questioned about speaking at international academic conferences on Palestine, my participation in international forums organized by international think-tanks, and my views on the ongoing war in Gaza. I was very clear in stating that as an academic, and as a Palestinian, I believe Israel is an apartheid regime that is committing a genocide in Gaza and should be brought to justice, and that this goes in line with international law and the position of the Brazilian government itself.

After the interrogation session, in which no lawyer nor translator were provided, the security officials at the airport informed me of the Federal Police’s decision to prevent me and my family from entering the country and to immediately deport us abroad.

I rejected the deportation order and asked for clarifications on the reason of the ban, especially since I have a valid multiple-entry visa, and I have visited the country previously without any problems. Furthermore, I have never broken any Brazilian laws, and I know well that the Brazilian government does not view Palestinian resistance as a terrorism. By then it was very clear the orders have come from outside the country, from a foreign imperialist power that has a long dark history of meddling in other countries’ affairs.

Over the next 48 hours, with the help of esteemed Palestinian activists, especially the head of the Brazil Palestine Institute, Dr. Ahmed Shehada, I fought a legal battle against the unjust police decision. Meanwhile, several Brazilian parliamentarians and activists fought a tough political and media battle against the influential Zionist lobby in Brazil. This war of narratives is still on.

The 48-hour-period included our forced detention inside the airport hotel, and the issuance of a hastily prepared judicial order confirming the police’s ban and immediate deportation outside the country. The police had submitted a set of fabricated allegations of supporting terrorism, due to my academic activity in support of the Palestinian cause and my clear position in support of Palestinian rights and denouncing the terrorist Zionist occupation of Palestine.

Unfortunately, my defense lawyer was not given enough time to refute these baseless accusations and allegations, which simply violate the Brazilian Constitution itself, which stipulates that Brazil respects international law, and the Brazilian law which does not view Palestinian resistance as terrorism.

For me and the Brazilian activists who support Palestinian rights, the battle is not over yet, and we will continue the legal pursuit to nullify this unjust decision and demand apology and compensation. I am absolutely certain that justice will prevail in the end.

Muslim Abuumar,

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia