Families & Victims

  • Shaker Aamer and the future of Guantanamo

    Families & Victims November 2, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Waging Nonviolence. The texts and tweets started flying early in the morning of October 30 with the news: Shaker Aamer, as reported by the BBC, was on a jet plane from Guantanamo to London and to life as a free man. Detained since 2002, Aamer was the last U.K. resident held at the notorious prison. Charismatic, hyper-articulate and defiant, he was a leader among the detainees. Former prisoners speak near-reverentially about Aamer’s ability to bring a miserable cell block to life and his tenacious defense against the petty cruelties of camp administration. Aamer paid heavily for his protest, suffering hideous abuse according to ex-prisoner and lawyer accounts. The wounds have been both physical ailments and post-traumatic stress. An ambulance met him at the tarmac.

  • Aafia’s daughter Maryam’s letter to Maryam Nawaz Sharif

    Families & Victims October 30, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Justice for Aafia Coalition. “Maryam Aapi, my name is Maryam too, but I am Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s daughter. I was 3 years old when my mother was snatched away or rather I was snatched away from her. Do you know how it feels spending years in a dungeon alone without a mother? ” (Dr. Siddiqui is being held in solitary confinement in a federal prison in Carswell, Texas. Her release date is 2083.)

  • An American family saved their son from joining the Islamic State. Now he might go to prison.

    Source: The Washington Post. To the FBI, Asher Abid Khan is an unknown risk, and one that is best mitigated through prosecution. The case is emblematic of the American approach to confronting the Islamic State. While some European countries have decided to treat young radicals returning from Syria as prodigals in need of a deradicalization program of counseling, education and employment, the United States treats Islamic State recruits, even those who make it no further than an airport, as terrorism suspects.“Think of these charges as insurance,” said a senior U.S. law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing, referring to Khan. “We don’t know what he’s going to do. This guy may be on the path to deradicalization. We err on the side of caution.”

  • Christie’s Conspiracy. The real story behind the Fort Dix Five terror plot

    Source: The Intercept. Dritan, Shain and Eljvir Duka were arrested in the spring of 2007, but not brought to court until the fall of 2008. In the interim, the brothers were held in pretrial solitary confinement at the Philadelphia Federal Detention Center. On December 22, 2008, after six days of deliberation, the jury found the Duka brothers and their two friends guilty of conspiracy to kill members of the U.S. military at Fort Dix. Years later, the Duka brothers still look back with incredulity at the events that led to their present situation. The needy friends exposed as government informants, the high-profile arrests and terrorism charges, and finally the life sentences that permanently altered the course of their lives. “We had plans for the future, we were expanding our business just weeks before, our families were growing,” Shain says. “Now, suddenly, we have been buried alive.”

  • How our war on terror continues to crush families and destroy charities

    Source: Alternet. The Elashis lived the American dream for decades before they became targets of the war on terror. At the center of it all was the US government’s post-9/11 fixation on perceived Muslim enemies anywhere from Iraq to Dallas. The search for Al Qaeda and its financiers was one obsession. The long-held wish by the US and Israel to destroy Hamas, the Gaza resistance movement designated as a foreign terrorist organization in January 1995, got a new impetus in this political climate. Muslim charities were easy targets. The prosperous Elashi brothers, who had a cousin married to a prominent Hamas leader, were in the US government’s crosshairs. In 2008, the five Holy Land Foundation directors, including one member of the Elashi family, Ghassan, were convicted on charges of material support for terrorism. Ghassan Elashi, the chairman, and HLF chief executive, Shukri Abu Baker, received 65-year sentences. Nancy Hollander (counsel for Abu Baker) said after the sentence, “I was horrified by it, the thought that somebody gets 65 years for providing charity is really shameful and I believe this case will go down in history, as have others…as a shameful day. Essentially these people were convicted because they were Palestinians.”

  • How the “war on terror” ripped an Atlanta family apart

    Families & Victims March 25, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Atlanta Muslim. “My brother, Ehsanul Shifa Sadequee, who spoke out against the U.S. violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, translated literature, and worked on a publication website, was sentenced to seventeen years in a Communication Management Unit. My mother wonders how her precious son can be so far away from her, separated from her by barbed wire fences and iron walls for joining no terrorist organization, for plotting and committing no terrorist acts. He is her little son put behind bars––for what reason?”

  • America abandoned one of its own in Yemen — and now he may die

    Families & Victims March 2, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. As more and more of Yemen is taken over by the country’s Houthi Shiite minority, combat has apparently begun to encroach on Sharif Mobley, an American being held under mysterious circumstances in Yemen. Mobley can hear fighting between Houthi militias and Hadi’s forces from within the facility in which he is detained, according to his partner, Nzinga Islam, who lives in New Jersey. His psychological condition and his treatment by those holding him have both declined since the start of the year, she said. Mobley, who has been held in Yemen since 2010, fears he might be killed as the fighting intensifies.

  • Dr. Sami Al-Arian leaves the United States

    Source: Jonathan Turley. Dr. Sami Al-Arian Leaves The United States
    In the conclusion of ten years of intense litigation, Dr. Sami Al-Arian and his wife Nahla boarded a plane last night and left the United States for Turkey. He arrived in Istanbul a couple hours ago. I was Dr. Al-Arian’s lead criminal defense counsel in Virginia until all charges were eventually dropped by the United States Department of Justice against him Dr. Al-Arian’s case raised troubling due process, academic freedom, and free speech issues.

  • Low-Hanging Fruit

    Source: London Review of Books. Francis FitzGibbon on the show trial of the Holy Land Foundation.
    Zakat, the Quranic obligation on Muslims to give alms for the relief of poverty, is one of the five pillars of Islam. The Holy Land Foundation (HLF), founded in 1988 by American citizens of Palestinian heritage, raised money for distribution by zakat charitable committees in Gaza and the West Bank. Most of it went to buy food, clothes and education for children. Between 1992 and 2001 the foundation raised at least $56 million. On 3 December 2001 the US Treasury Department decreed that the HLF was a ‘specially designated global terrorist’ (SDGT), and the next day, without informing the foundation of this decision, the FBI closed down its offices. Five staff members and the HLF itself were charged in 2004 with a variety of terrorism offences, on the basis that the money the organisation raised was ultimately going to fund Hamas.

  • Prison dispatches from the war on terror: Ex-CIA officer John Kiriakou speaks

    Source: The Intercept. John Kiriakou is the only CIA employee to go to prison in connection with the agency’s torture program. Not because he tortured anyone, but because he revealed information on torture to a reporter.