CAIR-CA: SIKH AMERICAN HATE CRIME VICTIM REMOVED FROM LIFE SUPPORT
Washington, DC – July 17, 2007 – The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) and the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are saddened about the death last week of Mr. Satendar Singh, a 26 year-old Sikh American victim of a vicious hate crime, as he was removed from life-support at a local hospital.
On Sunday July 1, 2007, Mr. Singh was beaten unconscious while enjoying a picnic with some friends at Lake Natoma in Folsom, CA. His attackers reportedly yelled xenophobic and homophobic remarks to him and his friends. After being taken to the hospital, Mr. Singh clang to life for four days before family members agreed to remove him from life-support after seeing he was registering little to no brain activity.
SALDEF and CAIR are concerned with this senseless murder of a promising young man. Hate crimes are designed to create fear amongst particular communities. Mr. Singh was targeted due to the color of skin, his national origin, and because he was the only one in his group without a female friend present. This attack was intended to create fear in the Fijian, South Asian, Arab, Muslim, Sikh and LGBT communities.
“We, SALDEF strongly condemn this act of violence. Such hate has no place in this country,” said SALDEF Volunteer Attorney Neilinder Ranu. “Sadder still, Mr. Singh had lived peacefully in the US since he was 19, only to have his life ended around the Fourth of July, when we celebrate the freedoms and principles of inclusion that this country were founded upon.”
Mr. Singh passed away in the intensive care unit at Mercy San Juan Medical Center thousands of miles away from his parents who live in Fiji. He lived with his aunt, uncle, and grandmother in Sacramento.
“The Sacramento Valley community has made a pledge in Mr. Singh’s memory to fight against hate, said CAIR-Sacramento Valley Executive Director Basim Elkarra. This tragedy shows highlights the importance of the community coming together to fight against hate.”
Together SALDEF and CAIR stand in solidarity against all acts of hate. We hope the community and all of America will not tolerate such acts of violence. We hope that the residents of Sacramento will put aside any differences and realize a stronger sense of community after this tragedy.
As of this release, no one has been arrested for this crime. If you or anyone you know has any information about the assailants of this heinous crime, you are urged to contact the Sacramento County Sheriff’s department at (916) 874-5115.
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CONTACT: Kavneet Singh at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-393-2700 ext. 29, CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra at email@example.com or 96-441-6269.
SALDEF is a national non-profit civil rights and educational organization. SALDEF’s mission is to create a fostering environment in the United States for Sikh Americans. SALDEF protects and promotes the civil rights of Sikh Americans through legal aid, advocacy and educational outreach.
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 33 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.