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January 9, 2013

January 9, 2012

The North American South Asian Bar Association (NASABA) has been galvanized to once again focus on the issue of hate crimes after the senseless death of Sunando Sen, an Indian immigrant of the Hindu faith,  who was pushed onto the tracks of a New York City subway and killed by an oncoming train. The suspect, Erica Menedez,  is said to have targeted the victim based on race and religion reportedly stating “I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2011 when the put down the twin towers…”

The suspect is being charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime for the incident, which occurred on December 28, 2012.  NASABA condemns such crimes committed out of hate and ignorance and commends the New York City Police Department for a swift arrest that sent a strong message that perpetrators of hate crimes will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. NASABA further urges authorities to look into hate speech which has recently appeared in New York City subway advertisements for any possible connection to this incident.

Hate crimes require priority attention to ensure that the targeted communities do not feel isolated and vulnerable.  According to an F.B.I. report, hate crimes against Muslims in the U.S. rose 50 percent in 2010 and last year we were all witness to more incidents of backlash against community members including the shooting at a gurudwara in Wisconsin last August.   Reversing this trend has become a priority for NASABA.

President Emilie Ninan added, ” As an umbrella organization of 25 chapters that came together largely in response to the unique issues that faced South Asians in the aftermath of 9/11, it is part of our mission to fight such hate crimes through education and advocacy. Its unfortunate that 11 years later we are still responding to discrimination and violence that stems from ignorance about the culture, the religions and the people of South Asia, but we will do so unwaveringly for as long as necessary.”

NASABA is a voluntary bar organization with 25 chapters in the United States and Canada.  NASABA serves as a recognized forum for professional growth and advancement for South Asian attorneys in North America and seeks to protect the rights and liberties of the South Asian community at large across the continent.   For more information, please visit us at or on facebook or LinkedIn.  NASABA Contact:  Salman Azam , V.P. of Public Relations  (312) 324–3244

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