An Interview With Rabia Chaudry

In honor of Women's History month, I will be interviewing inspirational women who have been fighting for various social justice causes or running for office. This week my interview is with Rabia Chaudry, the person who was the catalyst for the hit podcast Serial and is now the executive producer for the upcoming docuseries on HBO: The Case Against Adnan Syed.

Tune in to hear updates on the status of Adnan Syed's case, the injustices and Islamaphobia that played a role in his conviction, and her perspective on how South Asians can make an impact to fix our broken criminal justice system.


 


Shortened transcript of the interview

Do you think there's an overall failure in the criminal justice system today?

  • Yeah. Adnan’s case is not uncommon.

  • The reason is there has always been a need for criminal justice reform is because of the racial dynamics in the country.

  • Communities of color are criminalized for behavior that white communities are not.

What can we as community do about this whole criminal justice system like we know that there is injustices happening?

  • First of all, I think it's imperative for the community to think about these issues as a real serious issue whether or not you know a Muslim in prison. And by the way in any given state nearly 25 percent of the prison population identify themselves as Muslim.

  • Support the work of the professionals that are fighting. We don't need to recreate the wheel. There are people who have been doing this work for decades.

Do you mind giving just a quick overview of how much power district attorney’s hold in terms of the cases?

  • The district attorney is deciding whether they're actually going to prosecute that person; whether they're going to drop the charges and if they prosecute them what are they going to charge them with.

What has kept you motivated to continue this fight?

  • When you look at how wrongfully-convicted people are exonerated, it takes someone who is honest with one person who just won't let go. It almost always takes 18, 28, 25, 30 years sometimes, but it requires one person on the outside, who is not going to walk away.

There will be an HBO documentary that will come out Sunday, March 10. Do you mind giving us a broad overview of what it will be about?

  • It is a four-part series it will air every Sunday night on HBO at 9:00p.m. and it starts March 10th. This will be the final blow to the state’s case.

Azra Siddiqi1 Comment