LOCAL COMMUNITY LEADER MOST RECENT VICTIM OF U.S. WAR ON TERROR POLICIES

Civil Liberties Defense Initiative (student-led initiative at UCLA School of Law)

LOS ANGELES – In a gross miscarriage of justice, a leader in Southern California’s Iranian American community faces denaturalization and up to 9 years in prison. On April 24, 2008, Seyed Mousavi — father of two UCLA students — was convicted of filing false tax returns, omitting group membership on naturalization forms, and violating the U.S.’s economic embargo against Iran.

His sentencing hearing is on Monday, October 6. Substantial evidence has been uncovered supporting a motion for retrial.

To that end, at Monday’s sentencing hearing Mousavi will present evidence of his innocence. From community members to concerned law students, there has been an outpouring of community support for Mousavi in what has become an extremely politicized trial.

For the last 20 years, Mousavi has been a major contributor to the well-being of the Muslim community in Southern California.

He is the founder of Al-Nabi Mosque in West Covina and a non-profit organization that has built bridges across religious divides. Under Mousavi’s leadership, Al-Nabi Mosque has been groundbreaking in developing English curriculum for recent immigrants, recognizing the unique issues facing American-Muslim youth, and preaching the virtue of inclusion and acceptance.

In addition to teaching in the school, Mousavi serves as a mentor for youth. More than 100 community members have written letters in Mousavi’s defense. Those who have known him as a friend, colleague, and mentor describe him as having changed their lives.

Though not charged with or convicted of acts of terrorism, the prosecution has painted Mousavi with the broad brush of “terrorist.” The government claims that Mousavi broke the embargo with Iran, and is demanding a sentence of up to 9 years primarily because of this charge.

Mousavi is alleged to have engaged in a consulting contract with a Kuwaiti company to bring cellular telephone networks to Iran. However, the sentence recommended by the government far exceeds what they have uniformly agreed to even for corporations which provided overtly military related products.

As a result, this is a case of selective prosecution. The U.S. government invoked unsubstantiated assertions, xenophobia and “secret evidence” of terrorism early-on in the case. The government also claims Mousavi was a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, though both the government of Iran and several experts deny this.

full article: www.insight-info.com

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‘The US is not a republic anymore’

Press TV:We hear that Michael Mukasey is going to become the latest of the President’s Attorney-Generals to be subpoenaed, this time over his conversations with Bush and Cheney – does this show that Congress is serious about calling the executive to account?

Gore Vidal: No, Congress has never been more cowardly, nor more corrupt. All Bush has do is to make sure certain amounts of money go in the direction of certain important congressmen and that’s end of any serious investigation. After all, one of the bravest members of Congress is Denis Kucinich who brought the article of impeachment in to the well of the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives must then try the president, and then after that it goes to the Senate for judgment. However, none of these things will happen because there’s nobody there except for Mr. Kucinich who has the courage to take on a sitting president who is kind of a Mafioso.

Press TV: How can it just be one person among so many hundreds of Congressmen who wants the impeachment of George W. Bush in these circumstances?

Gore Vidal: Well it’s because we no longer have a country. We don’t have a republic any more. During the last 7 or 8 years of the Bush regime, they’ve got rid of the Bill of Rights, they’ve got rid of habeas corpus. They have got rid of one of the nicest gifts that England ever left us when they went away and we ceased to be colonies – the Magna Carta – from the 12th century. All of our law and due process of law is based on that. And the Bush people got rid of it. The president and little Mr. Gonzales who for a few minutes was his Attorney General. They managed to get rid of all of the constitutional links that made us literally a republic.

Press TV: You have often written about the US’s superpower status in terms of the history of previous superpowers. Do you think we’re witnessing the end of US power as some suggest. Will the White House be seen like Persepolis?

Full article: www.insight-info.com