The following email from Hazahza family friend Reza Barkhordari has been incorporated into the earlier dispatch about Jay’s walk below–gm
Hello, I hope all is well. I just finished reading the article regarding Jay’s walk and it literally brought tears to my eyes.
I drove to Haskell early Saturday morning with my in-laws to welcome Jay upon arrival. We were also planning to see the Hazahza men on Saturday. However, my father-in-law, Radi, apologized for not being able to go through another disgraceful body-cavity search and asked us not to visit him. Hisham and Ahmad on the other hand had worked up their courage to accept this humiliation in order to see their younger brother after over four month. 11-year old Mohammad had been day dreaming about seeing his brothers for the entire week. He was up at 6:00 AM on Saturday morning, exited with the hope of seeing his brothers after so long.
We drove for three and a half hours to get to Haskell, only to find that the major road to the detention center was blocked for “construction”. I have been to the Rolling Plains Detention Facility many a times, but never had I seen so much security precautions. The whole area was blocked by vehicles from the Prison Security Patrol and the Local Police.
I called the facility to find an alternate route to the facility. I was told that the roads are blocked because the Warden has declared a no-visitation weekend! When asked for an explanation, I was told that the reason is confidential. I was asked for my name and the reason for my visit.
So, I called a second time and asked for the Warden. Her assistant took the call and said that the Warden is not taking any calls today but we can reach the facility via a detour. We took the detour and found the other road to the detention center area to be blocked as well. This time we were approached by the Rolling Plains Security Guards. When asked to let us get through, they said that the warden has ordered all the roads leading to the facility blocked and that nobody knows the reason why.
Once more, I called and asked for the Warden. Her assistant picked up the phone again and said that the Warden wants me know that they have declared a no-visitation weekend for “security purposes”. By the time we drove back, there were two additional State Trooper vehicles guarding the entrance.
This all seemed like dejavou to me. This was not the first time I had been told to leave without a reasonable explanation. I received a call from Suzi and her sister shortly after we departed and was told that everyone is in a lock-down this weekend.
As I was trying to give comfort to Mohammad, I realized how greatly public awareness can effect the world we live in. Today, I saw one of the most beautiful and powerful statements that one man made; a man walking 60 miles on foot and determined to bring light to the public eyes and awareness to their minds regarding the wrongful imprisonment and mistreatment of an immigrant family.