Vol. VII-Issue No. 520
Friday, April 7, 2017

“There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.


Website of the Week

People Against the NDAA (PANDA)
The mission of PANDA is to Inform the public of the dangers the NDAA poses, and how it threatens the very fabric of the U.S Constitution. Since its founding, it has rapidly expanded into the largest organization in the country battling the NDAA, indefinite detention without charge or trial, and the application of the laws of war to U.S. soil and American citizens.

Portraits of Injustice/Voices of Victims of Repression

Yassin Aref
Yassin Are is an Imam, a resident of Albany, NY, the father of 4 and a poet. Nothing he said or did was illegal. Why was he put in prison for 15 years?


IBT (4/4): Police Surveillance: Black Lives Matter Texts Accessed By NYPD Undercover Officers [Video: 1 min. 7 sec.]
NYPD undercover officers were so successful in infiltrating Black Lives Matter groups in New York, they were on text chains with protest organizers and gained the trust of an inner circle of activists, documents show.

PRN.FM (3/26): The Torch. An interview about whistleblowers and preemptive prosecution [Audio: 53 min. 42 sec.]
At 29 minutes in, Kathy Manley, NCPCF Legal Director, speaks about her client Yasin Aref, preemptive prosecution, entrapment, secret evidence and more.


News Digest

Pre-Crime Reports/Pre-emptive Prosecutions/Thought Crimes/Entrapment/Material Support

New York Post (4/3): Teen admits to ISIS-inspired terror plot to kill Pope Francis
Santos Colon, 17, pleaded guilty Monday to attempting to provide material support to terrorists, according to court documents. Colon had tried hiring a “sniper” to kill the Holy Father during his Papal mass, but the supposed hit-man turned out to be an undercover agent for the FBI.

The Charlotte Observer (4/4): ISIS suspect dreamed of killing Americans but worried what his mom might think
An 18-year-old South Carolina man arrested last week on an ISIS-related charge dreamed of replicating the Orlando, Fla., massacre but decided he could better serve by joining the terrorist group in the Middle East where he could kill Americans, the FBI says. Zakaryia Abdin was also worried what his mother might think. Prosecutors say Abdin had been conspiring online for weeks with an undercover FBI agent posing as a operative for the Islamic State, commonly known as ISIS or ISIL, about his plans to travel to the Middle East to fight.

Detroit Free Press (4/5): Lawyer: Why is white Muslim getting better deal than Arab Muslim?
On paper, Sebastian Gregerson and Khalil Rayyan sound a lot alike,  if their alleged crimes are any indication. Both are accused of supporting terrorist groups. But one is a white Muslim convert, the other an Arab Muslim with immigrant parents — a difference that one attorney fears could lead to an injustice as the white suspect appears poised to get a much better sentencing deal. The government wants to lock up Rayyan for eight years; Gregerson could get less than half that. Under a plea deal, Gregerson,  a married father of twins, avid hunter and gun enthusiast who converted to Islam after high school, faces three to five years in prison for possessing explosives.  Rayyan, a single, 22-year-old pizzeria worker whose parents are Palestinian immigrants from Jordan,  faces eight years for gun charges tied to marijuana use: He was trying to buy and use a gun while using pot at the same time.


Islamophobia and Civil Rights

City Lab (4/5): Mosque NIMBYism: The Neighborhood Muslim Ban
In communities across the U.S., zoning laws are being used to obstruct the construction of new mosques and Islamic centers. Muslims make up roughly 1 percent of the U.S. population, but land-use discrimination against them is incredibly overrepresented in government investigations.


Civil Freedoms Under Threat

Buzz Feed News (4/3): President Trump Just Repealed Rules That Banned ISPs From Selling Your Private Data
President Trump just repealed landmark internet privacy rules that restricted what Internet service providers (ISPs) could do with customers’ private information. Now, companies like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast will no longer be obligated to obtain your consent before selling and sharing your data, and they don’t have to notify you about what kind of data they collect.

NBC News (4/4): What If U.S. Border Agents Ask for Your Cellphone?
A bill introduced in Congress Tuesday, “Protecting Data At the Border Act”,  would make it illegal for border officers to search or seize cellphones without probable cause. The proposed law comes after an exclusive NBC News report on 25 different Americans who say they were forced to give up and unlock their phones at airports and border crossings.
Government Policies Under Scrutiny

The New York Times (3/31): 2 Sue Trump and U.S. Officials, Claiming They Are on ‘Kill List’
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Two men who have reported extensively on jihadists and their activities have sued President Trump and members of his administration based on their belief that the government has put them on a “kill list” meant for terrorists, according to co ones and had contact with many members of Al Qaeda and other extremist groups, the men, Bilal Abdul Kareem and Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan, deny that they are members of militant organizations.Although they have worked in war zones and had contact with many members of Al Qaeda and other extremist groups, the men, Bilal Abdul Kareem and Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan, deny that they are members of militant organizations.



Politico (4/4): Trump’s Muslim Laptop Ban
Ten Muslim-majority countries are active partners in the coalition against the self-proclaimed Islamic State and sent senior officials to Washington last month to coordinate the next phase in this struggle. The day before the coalition met, the Trump administration announced that no direct flights from eight of these 10 Muslim-majority countries to the United States could allow passengers to sit with their laptops and tablets. This was a slap at security officials in these countries, at the very moment that the United States was asking them for additional help in fighting terrorism. It’s true that being forced to fly without one’s laptop is trivial compared with being refused a visa or denied asylum. However, it appears to be part of the same effort to limit Muslims’ entry to the United States.



NCPCF Mission
Established in October 2010, the NCPCF is a coalition of national and local organizations as well as prominent individuals, whose mission is: To educate the public about the erosion of civil liberties and political freedoms in society; to provide legal advocacy and support for prisoners within the U.S. criminal justice system and their families targeted after 9/11; and to defend and preserve the rights of all people according to the U.S. Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Geneva Conventions.
Member Organizations
Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) – Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR) – Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility (CLEAR) – Desis, Rising Up and Moving (DRUM) – Friends of Human Rights (FHR) – International Action Center (IAC) – Islamic Circle of North America Council for Social Justice (ICNA-CSJ) – Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) – National Lawyers Guild (NLG)  – The Aafia Foundation  – Project Support and Legal Advocacy for Muslims (Project SALAM) – United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)

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Copyright © 2015, National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms
P.O. Box 66301
Washington, D.C. 20035



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