Husseini denied the allegation in an interview Tuesday with the Erik Wemple Blog. “I was not heckling,” said Husseini, who attended the event as a contributor for the Nation and works as a senior analyst with the Institute for Public Accuracy. Rather than heckle, Husseini said, he and others in his seating area were “making wisecracks” about the reports from major TV networks as they “did their Russiagate recaps for the hundred-millionth time before the event.”
Whatever the circumstances, live television covered the upshot: First Husseini was escorted from the area; then he returned and held up a sign saying “Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty.” Security personnel thereupon converged upon Husseini, muscling and tussling with him. He was not going to witness this historic event.
The idea behind the sign, Husseini told the Erik Wemple Blog, was not to protest anything. Rather, it was to engage Trump’s famous impulsiveness. “I thought he might take a question on nuclear policy if left to his own devices,” Husseini said.
That was a strategic miscalculation on the world stage. Once he was ejected from the presser area, Husseini was confined to a “dungeon”-like room, he said, where he was closely watched. “I believe it was directly under the hall that everybody was in,” he said. He was placed in a seat and when he tried to get up to leave, “I was pushed back down.” After an hour or so in that room, Husseini was taken outside the building, where he declared, “This is freedom of the press in Finland.” Authorities threw him to the ground and proceeded to cuff his hands and legs — all of which was done “roughly,” Husseini said. He was taken to a jail, where he sat in a cell for about five hours.
He was released about midnight, he said. The Erik Wemple Blog has requested a comment from the Finnish Embassy.