‘JFK Customs destroyed 11 of my instruments’
December 31, 2013 by Norman Lebrecht
A few minutes ago, we reached the flute virtuoso Boujemaa Razgui by phone to discuss the assault on his instruments by US Customs at JFK airport.
A Canadian citizen, based in New York and with a green card employment permit, Boujemaa was flying home from Marrakech, Morocco, when his baggage was opened by Customs at JFK.
‘I told them I had these instruments for many years and flew with them in and out,’ he said. ‘There were 11 instruments in all. They told me they were agricultural products and they had to be destroyed. There was nothing I could do. The ney flute can be made with bamboo. Is that agricultural?’
Boujemaa was both upset and unwilling to risk a confrontation with the US authorities. We did not press him for further particulars. He does not know what to do next. But he does appear to be the victim of state injustice. What do the lawyers among our readers think he should do?
Here’s a further communication from Boujemaa.
Boujemaa’s contact details have been sent to journalists on the New York Times and the Boston Globe. Let’s see if they take up the story.
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