Families & Victims

  • Portraits of Injustice – The Duka Family

    Families & Victims October 4, 2016 at 0 comments

    October 4, 2016 Since 2001, many lives have been ruined by the government’s overly-agressive and misguided “war on terror”, which has been conducted under the assumption that  it is better to put 99 innocent people in prison than let one terrorist go free. And so rather than being considered innocent […]

  • New Guantánamo intelligence upends old ‘worst of the worst’ assumptions

    Families & Victims September 30, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: Miami Herald. The “Dirty 30” probably weren’t all Osama bin Laden bodyguards after all. The “Karachi 6” weren’t a cell of bombers plotting attacks in Pakistan for al-Qaida. An Afghan man captured 14 years ago as a suspected chemical weapons maker was confused for somebody else. An ongoing review shows the U.S. intelligence community has been debunking long-held myths about some of the “worst of the worst” at Guantánamo, some of them still held today.

  • PA Judge orders immediate release of Arthur Johnson from solitary confinement

    Families & Victims September 21, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: Democracy Now! “During my over 36 years in solitary confinement, my cell has been about 7 feet by 12 feet, smaller than many cages used to hold animals at zoos. … [M]y cell has been lighted 24-hours per day, with no break during day or night. … I have been allowed at most one hour of time outside, five days a week, in a fenced-in exercise cage that is slightly larger than my cell. … I have been forced to eat all of my meals alone in my cell. Each time I leave my cell I am forced to undergo a mandatory strip-search. … I have not been accused of any serious disciplinary infraction in more than 25 years.” -Arthur “Cetewayo” Johnson

  • Portraits of Injustice – The Family of Dr. Kifah Jayyousi

    Families & Victims September 20, 2016 at 0 comments

    Portraits of Injustice – The Family of Dr. Kifah Jayyousi. The Jayyousi family is one of many living not the American dream, but the American nightmare! The U.S. government’s “war on terror” is frequently a “war” on its own citizens. Caught up early in the “war”, Dr. Kifah Jayyousi was an upstanding member of the community until his arrest in 2005. He was placed in solitary confinement for a year until he was granted bail by a judge who repeatedly cited the lack of evidence as her reason. In a previous issue, Dr. Jayyousi’s daughter Reem wrote about a recent visit with her father in prison. This issue features Reem’s reflections about visiting her father in the CMU, written when she was 16 years old.

  • Portraits of Injustice – Sami Osmakac, Entrapped and Destroyed

    Families & Victims September 13, 2016 at 0 comments

    Even though the FBI viewed Sami Osmakac as a “retarded fool”, they proceeded with the entrapment and sting operation against him. Paid informants involved Sami in a plot to blow up a bar, a plot he could not have carried out on his own – since the informant provided every detail of the plot and even had to lend him the money to buy the weapons.

    Many of the FBI targets in the “war” on terror are mentally ill, and Sami was one of them. He was a very easy target, since he was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder (including by a court-appointed psychiatrist). At the trial, the key witness was the well-paid FBI informant who testified from behind a screen and under a pseudonym. Not even the defense attorney knew his true identify. Following this very strange trial, Sami was convicted and sentenced to 40 years.

  • The criminalizing of charity for Palestinians: the case of the Holy Land Five

    Families & Victims September 12, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: Just World. In December 2001, the U.S. government shut down the HLF’s operations, freezing all its assets. In July 2004, U.S. agents arrested five top HLF leaders, bringing many charges against them of cooperation with Hamas. (The charges were based in good part on evidence given in secret by two anonymous Israeli security officers.) After that first trial resulted in a hung jury, the government ordered a retrial, and in 2008 it won guilty verdicts against all five men, sentencing them to between 15 and 65 years in federal prison. In a move unprecedented in the history of the United States, the judges in both these trials had allowed key evidence for the government to be provided by two anonymous Israeli witnesses: an Israeli Security Agency employee known to jurors and the defense lawyers only as “Avi” and an Israeli Defense Forces intelligence officer known only as “Major Lior.”

  • Portraits of Injustice – Michael Finton, Entrapped by the FBI

    Families & Victims August 30, 2016 at 0 comments

    August 30, 2016 In the very common occurrence of a newspaper article announcing the arrest of yet another terrorist, if you read the entire article, you will usually find that there was a confidential informant involved. These informants are highly paid, and their job is to locate people they think might be potential […]

  • Portraits of Injustice – The Family of Syed Haris Ahmed

    Families & Victims August 23, 2016 at 0 comments

    Portraits of Injustice – The Family of Syed Haris Ahmed. In the era of preemptive prosecution (before a crime has been committed), the charge is frequently “conspiracy to provide material support” to a terrorist organization. So what constitutes “material support”? Can donating money to a charity be considered material support? What about giving advice to resolve differences peacefully? Or translating books? Or donating used clothes to a refuge camp? Or posting statements on Facebook in support of Palesinian self-determination? Or even posting photographs from a trip? Yes, our government has considered all of these acts to be providing material support to terrorism, and people have gone to prison – often for years. One of these people is Syed Haris Ahmed.

  • Portraits of Injustice – Reem Jayyousi writes about visiting her father in prison

    Families & Victims August 16, 2016 at 3 comments

    Portraits of Injustice – Reem Jayyousi writes about visiting her father in prison. When Dr. Kifah Jayyousi was arrested, he left behind a wife and five children to fend for themselves. Dr. Jayyousi was a respected professor at Wayne State University, but he was critical of U.S. foreign policy. He also was part of a small charity to benefit victims of the war in Bosnia and Chechnya. In a case that even the judge noted was “very light on facts”, Dr. Jayyousi was convicted of conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim overseas and sentenced to 12 years in prison. The years have passed, the family has grown up without their father, but Dr. Jayyousi still has more than a year in prison left to serve. Reem Jayyousi, the middle child and oldest daughter, was 14 years old when her father was arrested. She has recently returned from a rare visit with her father. In the essay below, she reflects on her experiences.

  • Portraits of Injustice – Leena Al-Arian on “Being Palestinian in the Diaspora”

    Families & Victims August 9, 2016 at 0 comments

    Pre-emptive prosecution is the prosecution of people who have committed no crime but have beliefs that our government does not like. This unjust treatment is not only devastating to the innocent target of prosecution, but also to the family. The families are often forgotten and shunned, at times even by their own community.
    One such case is that of the family of Dr. Sami Al-Arian, whose wife and five children faced a very difficult time when he was indicted. In this issue, Dr. Al-Arian’s daughter, Leena, reflects on her experiences since the time of her father’s arrest.