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August 21, 2010
1:08 PM


Tighe Barry, 361-218-2353
Jodie Evans, 310-621-5635

CODEPINK Cofounder Arrested at Home of Blackwater Founder Urging Him Not to Flee to Extradition-Free UAE

WASHINGTON - August 21 - CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin and other DC area activists were detained at the home of Blackwater Founder Erik Prince. The group dropped by to deliver a letter urging Prince not to flee the US to extradition-free UAE. His move, though couched by his PR team as a much needed break from the US would in fact eliminate the possibilities that he could be held accountable for the crimes perpetrated by Blackwater while under his control. Benjamin was invited into the Prince home, she then proceeded to explain to Prince's wife why she was delivering the letter; Mrs. Prince then pushed Benjamin out the door and told her to "leave the house immediately". Police soon arrived, entered the house to speak with the Prince family. While statements were being taken by other eyewitnesses, Benjamin was quickly hand-cuffed and arrested.

In light of the combat troop withdrawal from Iraq this week and the ongoing build up of private security forces by the State Department in Iraq, CODEPINK wanted to deliver the message to Prince that his fleeing to a country that does not have extradition treaty with the US was highly suspect given the violent and illegal history of his former company.

"The combat troops are being withdrawn from Iraq, yet 75,000 contractors remain and Clinton wants to bring in another 6-7,000 more arms-for-hire. The Iraqi people kicked Blackwater out of their country and they are still making a killing off of US taxpayers. The fact that Prince is allowed to cut ties and skip town is criminal," says Jodie Evans, CODEPINK Cofounder.

Blackwater and Prince have been the subject of ongoing investigations and litigations surrounding illegal and violent tactics used against the Iraqi people. On Jan 30, 2009, The U.S. State Department told Blackwater Worldwide that it will not renew its contract in Iraq, though Secretary of State Clinton has awarded the company (know known as Xe) several lucrative contracts in Afghanistan.

CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. CODEPINK rejects foreign policies based on domination and aggression, and instead calls for policies based on diplomacy, compassion and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.

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