SEVENTH FAMILY CONFERENCE APPEAL
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NEWS DIGEST


Vol. VII-Issue No. 536
Friday, June 9, 2017


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

Julie Fischer – Ramadan Letter Writing

 

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Upcoming Events

Ramadan Letter Writing Project, 10;00 AM, May 22, June 5, 12 and 19. Norm Smith Plaza, Decorah IA. Bring words of kindness and hope to Muslim prisoners. Writing materials will be provided, as well as names, addresses, and guidelines. Sponsored by the Northeast Iowa Peace & Justice Center.

 

Action Items

Dear supporters, the blessed month of Ramadan is upon us, a time for prayer and self reflection. It is also a time to remember those who are less fortunate and most marginalized among us. In the spirit if this holy month, let us send greetings to our Muslim brothers and sisters behind bars to let them know they are not forgotten. Please contact us if you are interested in organizing a letter writing workshop or gathering. One of the most common requests we get in the mail is of inmates asking for penpals, so those who are interested in long term correspondence, please do get in touch as well.

Email our Program Director Mariam Abu-Ali at mariam@civilfreedoms.org

Website of the Week

No Separate Justice
The mission of the No Separate Justice campaign is to place these abuses, taking place in prisons and courtrooms across the United States, firmly on the agendas of human and civil right organizations, the media, and the U.S. public through education and activism that draws directly upon the experiences and voices of those most directly affected.

 

Multimedia

NCPCF Youtube: Mariam Abu Ali, speaking about her brother, who is serving a life sentence for a confession obtained under torture. Mariam, NCPC Program Director, spoke at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Rochester, MN, at an event entitled  “Islamophobia and the War on Terror”  May 5, 2017. [Video: 25 min 54 sec.]

Youtube (6/5): CAIR-Florida Responds to Trump’s Latest Muslim Ban Twitter Storm [Video: 2:00 min.]

Democracy Now (6/5): Could Trump’s White House Bury or Even Destroy the Landmark 2014 Senate Report on CIA Torture? [Video: 9 min. 9 sec.]
Congressional officials confirmed the administration has begun returning to Congress copies of the Senate’s explosive 2014 report on CIA torture. The move raises concerns that copies of the classified report will now be buried in Senate vaults or even destroyed—and, along with it, lessons from one of the darkest chapters in America’s history.

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News Digest

News From NCPCF and Coalition Members

The NCPCF Team has been speaking around the country on the topic of the unjust preemptive prosecution of innocent Muslims in the so-called “war on terror”. In May, three members of the team, Ex. Director Mel Underbakke, Legal Director Kathy Manley and  Program Director Mariam Abu Ali spoke at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and also at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Rochester, MN. (Watch Mariam’s talk here.)

On June 5, Mel & Kathy were joined by Deputy Director Leena Al-Arian to speak at Left Forum Conference 2017 at CUNY in New York City. The title of the panel was “Preemptive Prosecution and Muslim Prisoners”. Watch for a future video.

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

The Washington Post (6/7): Former Metro Access driver found guilty of supporting Islamic State
An Alexandria, Va., man who in 2015 quit his job as a Metro Access bus driver and traveled to Islamic State territory has been found guilty of supporting terrorism. Mohamad Khweis, 27,  had no known record of extremism and was on no law enforcement radar. Khweis insisted he was not in league with the terrorist group. He went to trial in federal court in Alexandria and testified in his own defense, saying he wanted only to see the situation in Syria with his own eyes.

 

Prison Conditions and Abuse/CMUs

Courthouse News Service (6/6): Endangered Torture Report Sparks Shock, Anger and Suit
Douglas Cox, a law professor at the City University of New York, said that he felt  “shock and anger” — and no small sense of déjà vu — when he read recent New York Times revelations that the Trump administration had been returning copies of the full “torture report” to Congress. In late 2014, the Senate Select Committee of Intelligence released only the executive summary of its study into the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation program, revealing the agency’s interrogation tactics to be far more gruesome and ineffective than previously acknowledged.The heavily redacted report showed that the mistreatment went far beyond the previously disclosed accounts of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques like waterboarding and sleep deprivation into sexual humiliation like rectal feeding, all for worthless intelligence that sparked dead-end investigations. But two White House administrations have kept further details from the classified 6,700-page report censored from public view. Viewing President Donald Trump’s latest maneuver as a possible prelude to the destruction of one of few remaining copies, Cox took immediate action with a federal lawsuit filed hours after the Times went to print on Friday.

Government Policies Under Scrutiny

ACLU (6/2): The Government Just Asked The Supreme Court to Revisit the Muslim Ban. Here’s What Comes Next.
The Trump administration made three requests to the Supreme Court: Review the Fourth Circuit appeals court’s decision and reverse its judgment, allow the ban to go into effect during the time that it takes for the Supreme Court to come to an ultimate ruling, and stay another injunction of the ban, which was ordered by the district court in Hawaii.

Associated Press (6/7): Guantanamo detainee sues creators of CIA’s harsh tactics
Attorneys for a detainee at Guantanamo Bay are suing James Elmer Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen, the psychologists who created the CIA’s harsh interrogation techniques used in the war on terror. Mitchell and Jessen ran a Spokane-based company that received $81 million from the CIA to develop methods to extract information that included waterboarding and sleep deprivation. President Barack Obama terminated their contract in 2009. A U.S. Senate investigation in 2014 found that Mitchell and Jessen’s techniques produced no useful intelligence in the war on terror.


Editorials/Opinions

The Washington Post (6/6): Islamophobes want to recreate the Crusades. But they don’t understand them at all.
Exploiting a simplified, misleading story of the Crusades (namely, that they were primarily a Western, Christian, defensive response to Middle Eastern incursion on Christian lands) isn’t a strictly contemporary phenomenon. In fact, it came into fashion during the age of colonialism and was reborn again in the early 20th century. In both of those cases — and in our own current climate — the imaginary parallel between the Crusades and our own conflicts does much more to advance our own political causes than to accurately represent the Crusades.

Vox (6/6): Trump is quick to blame Muslims for terror attacks. He’s slow when Muslims are the victims.
When Donald Trump believes a terrorist attack by Muslim extremists has taken place, he rarely hesitates before speaking out about it — often regardless of whether authorities have even begun to investigate what actually took place. But when it comes to anti-Muslim hate crimes, Trump’s reactions are often halfhearted, delayed, or nonexistent.

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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.
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Member Organizations
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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