Mohamed Eljahmi's Comment In American Jewish Committee Event|
At Seaport Hotel, Boston, USA - Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I am honored to be with you tonight. In life and in death my brother, Fathi Eljahmi, embodied hope and human courage.
Two weeks before he died, his Libyan persecutors rushed him to a Jordanian hospital. I subsequently learned that after years of torture and medical neglect my brother had lapsed into a coma and the Libyans did not want him to die in their custody.
Then, at 3 AM on May 21st, I received a phone call from a Jordanian whom I didn’t know. He told me, “Fathi is dead and the Libyan Embassy is trying to rush the body back to Tripoli.” I immediately alerted the State Department, and then I called my friend Rob Leikind. I woke him up and asked for AJC’s help, “Rob,” I said, ‘Fathi is dead. The Libyans want everyone to think he died a natural death. We need an autopsy. Please help.”
The people I worked with at AJC never met my brother Fathi, but they did’ not hesitate to help when asked. I have come to appreciate that when there is injustice AJC is an organization that fights to right it. And when people’s rights are trampled AJC does not stop to ask whether the person is a Jew or a Muslim, a Christian or a Hindu.
The AJC tried to save my brother’s life. For weeks before his death they engaged in intensive diplomacy reaching out to leaders around the world in a bid to obtain his freedom and then in an effort to secure medical help that would save his life. When that was no longer possible, they struggled to ensure that the injustice that was done to my brother, a courageous Muslim, would not be hid.
Muammar al-Qadhafi murdered my brother, a man who fearlessly advocated for freedom and democracy in a nation that ruthlessly suppressed such ideas.
Fathi embodied hope and human courage while Muammar al-Qadhafi embodies an ideology that is primitive, inhumane and based on hate, terror and bigotry. For all our children’s sake, it belongs in the trash bin of history.