Free Shifa
The Day of Decision for Two Young Muslim Men by Mauri Saalakhan PDF Print E-mail
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How Much Time Should a Wannabe Terrorist Spend in Jail by David Weingarten PDF Print E-mail

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Update PDF Print E-mail

Solidarity and Support From Local, National and International Organizations 

As organizations and community members with a long history of fighting for and protecting             Civil & Human Rights we stand in Solidarity with the Sadequee Family in their struggle to see           justice served & human rights protected in the Federal case against their youngest son Eshanul       "Shifa" Sadequee. In 2006 Shifa, an American born US citizen, was kidnapped in Bangladesh           and illegally brought to the US where he was unconstitutionally held in solitary confinement               without a trial from 2006-2009. After 3 years of solitary confinement his case went to trial,             however, the Prosecution suppressed key evidence from coming to light, and without a fair trial       he was found guilty of 4 counts of conspiracy and attempt to provide support to terrorist               organizations.

This case represents a clear violation of  Shifa’s First Amendment Rights to Freedom of Religion     and Freedom of Speech. At no point did Shifa take any action or make any plans to support           terrorism in this country or abroad. No evidence presented at the trial or anywhere else                 contradicts these facts, and Shifa was convicted and faces 60 years in prison before any crime       has been committed. President Obama has taken steps to end the violations of Civil & Human         Rights abuses at the US prison in Guantanamo Bay. This case includes the same kind of isolation,   abuse, and “guilty until proven innocent” tactics right here in Georgia’s own Guantanamo.

When an injustice of this magnitude occurs, it is important for people of conscience to stand up     and speak out in the name of Justice and Equality. The prejudiced treatment against Muslims      and the roll back on Civil & Human Rights which began under former President Bush have             no place in our society. We ask community members and organizations to sign on to this             letter and come out in Solidarity with the Sadequee 

Supporters in Solidarity

Georgia Citizens Coalition Against Hunger

Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty & Genocide

SPARK: Reproductive Justice Now

Women’s Action for New Direction 

Peace & Justice Foundation

United Against Racism

Malcolm X Grassroots Movement 

International Action Committee  

 

 

Sadequee Family Spoke Out on Verdict   

Atlanta Civil Rights Organizations Rally to

Support Justice

Ehsanul "Shifa" Sadequee is not alone. Civil right organizations and human rights activists from around Atlanta and around the country spoke out on the jury's decision to find Shifa guilty of all four counts of conspiracy to provide material support to terror. Shifa, a US citizen and resident of Atlanta, was convicted and faces upto  60 years in federal prison BEFORE a crime has even been committed.  

Many evidence that could exculpiate Shifa was barred from the trial by the prosecution, including that Shifa was kidnapped in Bangladesh, assaulted in prison, and tortured in solitary confinement for over three years before trial. Community members presented a solidarity letter in support of Shifa and the family.  Mauri Salakhan from the Peace and Justice Foundation spoke along with other civil rights leaders. 

 

From The Closing Argument: Shifa's Words 

"I was not then, am not now a terrorist."          

Sadequee defends himself against all four counts in closing arguments

Ehsanul “Shifa” Sadequee closed by arguing point by point the charges brought against him                   by the US government. He agreed with the US prosecutor Robert McBurney that the case is not             about  ideas, beliefs, or speech, but about action. And Sadequee asserted that he did not join               terrorist organizations, did not attempt to provide material support, and did not conspire to do either.
 
He addressed the many pages of chats online that the government used as evidence of the    “agreements” to provide material support in the form of personnel to foreign terrorist            organizations. “The chats demonstrate quite clearly that we were immature young guy with imaginations run wild . . . We typed faster than we could think . . . Behind the words and chats       none of us intended to do or try to do anything.” He referenced multiple opportunities that his               co-defendant Haris Ahmed had to join a terrorist group in Pakistan, LET, but he did not.                         He quoted  the government’s expert witness to remind the jury that LET has a public phone                   number and  website and is accessible to anyone.  
 
He finished by saying to the jury that he hope that they can distinguish between young men               talking online, venting frustration and actual terrorist conspirators.
 
The jury received over a half hour of  charges from the judge explaining the law with which to                 evaluate the evidence, and they entered deliberation. The defense expects a verdict in the next few days.


GOOD ARTICLE ON THE CASE BY DAVID WEINGARTEN:

A good article about Shifa’s case by a Canadian filmmaker and writer who made the film: “Unfair Dealing” an independent documentary released in 2008. The film demonstrates  that the terrorism charges brought against the "Toronto 18" were largely exaggerated or fabricated by the  Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and  Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in order to justify the controversial Canadian Anti-Terrorism Act, and increased funding  for security and law enforcement. The article is about Shifa’s case specifically, and is a great summary of the evidence and the angle. Please read and forward!

 
SENTENCE HEARING DECEMBER 14, 2009 PDF Print E-mail

AT    10:00 AM

RICHARD B. RUSSEL FEDERAL BUILDING

ROOM 1705, JUDGE DUFFEY

75 SPRING STREET SW

ATLANTA, GA 30303

 

PLEASE ATTEND SUSTENANCE PRE-SENTENCING GATHERING ON DEC. 13

AND THE SENTENCE HEARING ON DEC. 14

SUSTENANCE PRE-SENTENCING GATHERING: DECEMBER 13, 2009

Hosted by Free Shifa Campaign, Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective

and the Atlanta Transformative Justice Collaborative 

SUNDAY  DEC.  13, 2009
TIME:  6:00 PM-- 8:00 PM
LOCATION: THE ATLANTA FRIENDS MEETING MEETINGHOUSE
701 WEST HOWARD AVENUE,    DECATUR, GA 

 

In solidarity with the Free Shifa Campaign, on the eve of Shifa Sadaquee’s

sentencing date, we invite community members to hold space for sustenance

and justice for Shifa, Harris, freedom fighters everywhere, our families, ancestors

and future generations. We recognize the targeting, criminalization and destruction

of Muslim communities in Georgia and around the world and want to honor

the alliances we are building to respond, transform and counter the conditions

of state violence and islamophobia. We refuse to be isolated!

Please join us for a light dinner as we prepare for Shifa’s sentencing on December

14th and the new year ahead. We invite community members, especially

those interested in mobilizing a show of support the next day against a possible

60 year sentencing of Shifa Sadaquee. 

There will be an update on Shifa’s case from his family, time to gather with

community and space for reflection on how we can strengthen our resiliency,

individually and collectively.


**** PLEASE RSVP by emailing to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it SO WE CAN GET

AN ACCURATE COUNT FOR FOOD AND SUPPLIES.

This event is free and open to everyone. 

 


 

FOR SHIFA'S SENTENCE HEARING

WRITE LETTER TO THE JUDGE ABOUT REDUCING SHIFA'S SENTENCES. 



Please take action on this important social justice issue by writing letters and helping spread the word. 
A young Atlanta man has been convicted unfairly and is about to be
sentenced on four counts of conspiracy and attempt to provide
material support to foreign terrorist organizations. He has committed
no physical acts of violence.  As he said himself at his trial in August:
“I was not then, and am not now a terrorist.”  He will be sentenced on DECEMBER 14, 2009   


URGE JUDGE DUFFEY to SENTENCE SHIFA FAIRLY 
Shifa faces up to 60 years in prison for crimes he did not commit.
Shifa will be 83 years old before he gets out, if the judge throws the
book at him which is likely. 
 
Student movements across Bangladesh sent over 2900 letters in
support of Shifa  have been sent to Judge Duffey, urging him to
reduce the sentencing to time served (best case scenario) or the
lowest sentencing possible in accordance with federal sentencing guidelines.
 
Template and Summary of Trial are attached – Please make it as
personal and from the heart as possible! Visit www.freeshifa.com 
 for more information in the “Who is Shifa” section.
 
READ THE POST-TRIAL REFLECTION LETTER BY HARIS AHMED, SHIFA'S CO-DEFENDANT 
 
Read a personal letter to the Judge from Vanessa Huang 

Send hard copy to judge and PLEASE EMAIL A COPY TO   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  - 
Include your name and contact information. 

Send hard copy to: 

Judge William S. Duffey
District Court Judge
United States District Court
1721 Richard B. Russell Federal Building and United States Courthouse
75 Spring Street S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30303

Send email copy to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Background:
Ehsanul “Shifa” Sadequee is an American born US citizen kidnapped from Bangladesh at 19 and detained unconstitutionally in solitary confinement since 2006. He has been subjected to a physical assault to his head, denied medical care, and has suffered psychological abuse at the federal prison in Atlanta, GA.  Shifa endured punishment and torture for over 1200 days (over 3 years) in solitary confinement before the trial began.  For a long period, Shifa was denied access to information on the charges or evidence against him.  The so-called “evidence” used to convict him consisted of on-line chats, visiting & taping tourist sites, and translating and publishing scholarly religious texts from Arabic to English.  His First Amendment rights to religious beliefs, translation and publication of scholarly and academic literature, free speech, and debates have been violated.  Shifa Sadequee was convicted on August 12 on four counts of conspiracy and attempt to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations. The evidence is flimsy and the laws are all based on “pre-emptive prosecution” to convict people before a crime has been committed.  This case is part of a larger strategy from the Bush era of targeting Muslims for detention and discrimination – through policies of torture, illegal wiretapping and detentions throughout the U.S. and at Guantanamo.  We must work together in this new era of hope to end these unjust policies and to remember individuals like Shifa who are still suffering the consequences.  

For more details about his detention and trial: 
www.freeshifa.com 
If you are not in Atlanta and want to lend support, please don’t hesitate to contact 
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . There are multiple opportunities to join and support the organizing efforts through writing solidarity statements, connecting to media around the country, and connecting to similar cases and community responses. 

Wherever you are, please write letters and forward this call on to your networks, friends, families, and organizations!

For more information on the organizing work of the teams here in Atlanta: www.freeshifa.com 
 
JOIN Facebook group with videos and all press releases from the 7 days of trial: Justice For Shifa


Sample      Letter:

November 18, 2009

William S. Duffey
District Court Judge
United States District Court
1721 Richard B. Russell Federal Building and United States Courthouse
75 Spring Street S.W.
  
 
Atlanta, GA 30303 

RE:  Ehsanul Sadequee. Case No. 1:06-CR-147-WSD-GGB
 
Dear Honorable Judge Duffey,

As a concerned US citizen and a resident of [STATE], I am very saddened to hear about the verdict on Ehsanul Sadequee, Shifa’s case.  I am writing to kindly request Your Honor to consider a just and fair sentence for Shifa on December 14, 2009 by sentencing him to time served or to the shortest possible sentence in accordance with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. 
  
Shifa is a peaceful, loving and caring person who is looking forward to a life with his family, his new wife, and his community. He has also been an active member in the greater Atlanta community, regularly donating money to the needy and the poor, helping to raise money for the flood victims of the tsunami, engaging in interfaith discussions, and attending programs on ending violence in our community. I believe that Shifa is a great asset to our larger community and society as a whole. I would love to have him as my neighbor and work with him as a devoted community member.  
  
As our government has asserted in agreement with the defense, Shifa has not hurt anyone. He never committed a petty crime in his life.  Please consider sentencing him to time served on December 14, 2009 three years of incarceration has provided ample time to reflect on mistakes and life direction. I respectfully urge Your Honor to consider a fair sentence for Shifa.
  
I, and many others in the community at large, will be very grateful to Your Honor for ensuring that our justice system is fair to this peaceful, loving, and caring young man.  
  
 
Sincerely,
 [YOUR NAME / ADDRESS] 


 


 
Press Release PDF Print E-mail

August 11, 2009    "I was not then, and am not now a terrorist" 

August 6, 2009      Co-defendant felt "Threatened" by FBI

August 5, 2009      Email chats are fantasies and jokes NOT terrorist plots

August 4, 2009      Government presents weak evidence

 


 
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