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NCPCF                                                         Vol. VII-Issue No. 544

NEWS DIGEST                                         Friday, August 4, 2017


“There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.” ~Montesquieu
Yasin Aref and Mohammed Hossain
 IN THIS ISSUE
 
Upcoming Events

A 13th Anniversary Commemoration of the Arrests of Yasin Aref and Mohammed Hossain Friday, August 4, 2017 RALLY: 5:30 p.m. Masjid As-Salam Mosque, 280 Central Avenue, Albany MARCH: 6:00 p.m. to the First Unitarian Society of Albany, 405 Washington Ave, Albany DINNER: 6:15 p.m. SPEAKERS: 7:00 p.m. All events free and open to the public. (Featuring NCPCF Legal Director, Kathy Manley and former Executive Director, Steve Downs) A Farewell to Rasmea Odeh, Saturday, August 12, 7:00 pm. International Union of Operating Engineers hall, 2260 S. Grove Street, Chicago. An evening of music, culture, and struggle to honor Palestinian icon Rasmea Odeh. Keynote address by former political prisoner Angela Davis.Website of the WeekConstitutional Law Center for Muslims in America
CLCMA protects the rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution through targeted civil litigation against the federal, state and local governments. Their attorneys work in the areas of: civil rights litigation, criminal defense, immigration, and other legal support.

Portraits of Injustice/Voices of Victims of Repression

NPR (8/1): U.S. Citizen Who Was Held By ICE For 3 Years Denied Compensation By Appeals Court
Davino Watson told the immigration officers that he was a U.S. citizen. Still, Immigration and Customs Enforcement kept Watson imprisoned as a deportable alien for nearly 3 1/2 years. After he was released, he filed a complaint. Last year, a district judge awarded him $82,500 in damages, citing “regrettable failures of the government.” On Monday, an appeals court ruled that Watson, now 32, is not eligible for any of that money — because while his case is “disturbing,” the statute of limitations actually expired while he was still in ICE custody without a lawyer.

Multimedia

The Bridge Initiative (7/28): Have You Ever Heard Someone Say This About Muslims? [Video: 3 min. 52 sec.]
The Bridge Initiative helps you identify anti-Muslim stories, and debunks the narrative told by Islamophobic groups.

NPR (8/1): New Campaign Teaches How To Help When A Muslim Is Harassed [Audio: 4 min. 6 sec.]
In Boston,  new posters are going up that urge residents to go a step further and intervene if they see Islamophobic harassment. Step one, the poster implores: “Ignore the attacker.” In other words, don’t even make eye contact. Instead, the poster instructs, start talking to the person being attacked — about anything.

Independent (8/2): US Muslims are more accepting of homosexuality than White evangelicals [Article & Video: 32 sec.]
A new survey looking at different faiths’ acceptance of the LGBTQ community has thrown up some interesting results. It suggests that Muslims in American are more accepting of homosexuality than white evangelical Protestants. Furthermore, their rate of acceptance is moving is increasing faster than those of Protestants.

PRI  (8/3): Analyzing America’s Terror Cases [Audio: 7 min.]
Since 9/11, the U.S. has prosecuted exactly 807 people under international terrorism charges. The latest was on July 10, 2017, and the case focused on a U.S. army sergeant in Hawaii who was caught in a sting operation by the FBI. And two weeks ago, Americans learned about the case of Ali Charaf Damache, who was the first foreigner brought to the U.S. to face terrorism charges under the Trump Administration. Each of these cases is being tracked as part of The Intercept’s project “Trial and Terror.” The project found that about one third of all international terrorism cases are sting operations, and that the majority of the defendants did not come close to committing an act of violence.

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News Digest

Pre-Crime Reports/Pre-emptive Prosecutions/Thought Crimes/Entrapment/Material SupportBoston Herald (7/27): Feds hoping to cloak terror trial witness

Federal prosecutors want to protect the identity of an FBI informant who is prepared to testify in an upcoming Boston terrorism trial, arguing that the defendant in the case — accused of supporting ISIS — has made threats against the source. The informant is expected to testify against David Daoud Wright, formerly of Everett, who is accused of conspiring to provide material support to ISIS, conspiring to commit acts of terrorism and obstruction of justice. U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young said that he was not prepared to make any decisions on the issue because he was “blindsided” by prosecutors.

 

Islamophobia and Civil Rights

The Columbus Dispatch (7/31): Somali immigrant in limbo over passport renewal, despite being U.S. citizen
Osman Hassan was happy beyond belief when he took the citizenship oath on March 17, 2013, in Minneapolis. Months later, he obtained the blue passport booklet embossed in gold that signifies to everyone everywhere he travels that he is an American. The passport enabled him to take a job as an English-language teacher in Saudi Arabia. He applied for a new booklet in January 2016 so he could accept a teaching position in Qatar. Nineteen months later, and now living in Columbus, he’s tired of waiting. He sued Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in federal court in Columbus last week.
Prison Conditions and Abuse/CMUs
Vice (8/2): Will America Stop Putting Kids in Solitary Confinement?
A nationwide shift toward abolishing solitary confinement for juveniles, which began to take shape in 2016 after former president Barack Obama banned the practice in federal prisons, has surged ahead in recent months, with a half-dozen states either prohibiting or strictly limiting its use in their youth facilities.
 

Editorials/Opinions

Harper’s Magazine (8/3): The Reichstag Fire Next Time

That we seem so certain of the outlines of the Reichstag fire to come reveals the fact that it has already occurred. Among the victims of the sixteen-year-old state of exception are hundreds of individuals identified, prosecuted, and sentenced under emergency rules. Since the war on terror began, the United States has prosecuted an average of forty terrorism cases per year, about half of them on the basis of informant operations. Convictions that result from such cases—and convictions result almost without fail, usually as the result of a plea bargain—fetch higher sentences because of something known as the terrorism adjustment in federal sentencing guidelines. The adjustment went into effect following the World Trade Center bombing of 1993 but was used most widely after 9/11.
Los Angeles Daily News (8/2): U.S. Muslims maintain faith in nation’s pluralism, promise
The results of a Pew Research Center poll released last week affirm what my staff and I at the Council on American-Islamic Relations have known first-hand since last year’s presidential election: Even as American Muslims feel increasingly uncomfortable in Trump’s America, we maintain an abiding faith in our country’s pluralism and promise. And we are intent on proclaiming it. Pew reports that 92 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “I am proud to be American” — this despite a 91 percent spike in hate acts and hateful speech directed  at American Muslims. In fact, as the Pew numbers also show, the majority of us continue to believe that our fellow citizens are “generally friendly” toward us. Why the optimism?
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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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