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Wednesday, 12 August 2009 22:25

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!

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 26 August 2009 04:15 )