One forth of the world’s inmates in America

American senator Jim Webb (Virginia) announced that one fourth of the world’s inmates are in America. He said that the conditions of prisons in this country are a blemish on the country and demanded that these conditions improve.

The senator suggested that a group of experts be established to prepare a report about the conditions of criminal courts in America and the prisons of the country.

Jim Webb, a democratic senator, suggested that the number of inmates in this country should be decreased and was supported by Senator Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania), a republican. He believes that the conditions of the criminal courts in the United States are unhealthy and are blemishing the country.

He announced that America comprises five percent of the world’s population while 25 percent of the world’s prison population is in America.

Senator Webb severely criticized the prison industries for the common practice of selling drugs in prisons and the 400 percent increase of psychological illnesses in prisons.

There are now 5 million people in America on conditional leave or being tested with some sort of freedom.

According to this report, the mentioned experts must formed from members of the courts, the police force, medical organizations, and social organizations. The president of the United States will choose the head of this group.

Barack Obama stated that he would change the conditions of prisons in America and throughout the world. But, so far nothing has been done.

Islam Times

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Caged Citizen Will Test President Obama

If our new president intends to try to make America resemble what it was meant to be, he will have to deal with the noxious residue of the Bush-Cheney war against terrorism. Barack Obama will be confronted, as Harold Reynolds predicted in the October 29 New York Law Journal, with bringing justice to “thousands of . . . men and women cut off from access to their families, tortured, humiliated . . . and kept off stage to this day by Bush’s resistant administration.”

Among these purported menaces to national security are survivors, if they can be found, of CIA secret prisons (“black sites”); victims of CIA kidnapping renditions; and American citizens locked up indefinitely as “unlawful enemy combatants.”

We have one such pariah right here in New York at the Metropolitan Correction Center. He is 28-year-old Sayed Fahad Hashmi, whom I first told you about in this column last week. Confined in extreme isolation as if he were in a supermax prison, Hashmi was put away about a year ago by Bush’s Attorney General Michael Mukasey under what are euphemistically called Special Administrative Measures (SAMs).

Of the 201,000 prisoners presently in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, fewer than 50 are so dangerous to the state that they are held under SAMs, which can be imposed in one-year increments. Mukasey was supposed to inform Hashmi’s lawyer, Sean Maher, on October 29 whether those fierce conditions that were described here last week would be renewed for another year. But as of this writing, no word has come from the Justice Department, and the keys to Hashmi’s cell will soon be in the hands of Barack Obama’s attorney general. When Jeanne Theoharis—a professor of political science at Brooklyn College who has been leading the campaign to get Hashmi out of the cage where he’s been jammed for his daily one hour of “recreation”—asked a Bureau of Prisons staff member how Hashmi has been SAM’d without even being charged with violence, she was told curtly: “He’s being charged with terrorism, right?”

full article: www.insight-info.com

Who Cares about Omar Khadr ?

Omar Khadr

Omar Khadr

Omar Khadr is probably the greatest shame on Canada, because two governments, the Liberals under Paul Martin and the Conservatives under Harper have both made the overt decision to leave him in prison. The case against him is insane.

He was a child, aged 15. He was in Afghanistan because his parents took him there. His father and mother are militant Muslims. He was in a building that US commandos suddenly attacked. When people in the building shot back, they bombed the building and blew it to bits. Then they approached the building, and a US soldier got killed by a hand grenade thrown from the ruins of the building. When they entered the ruins Omar was still alive, but, others were too. In a revised report, they made him the only one left alive. He has been charged with murder. He was shot at close range by bullets (plural).

The case is insane for several reasons:

1) He is a child soldier, which means he is a victim of war not a war criminal.

2) Evidence was changed to make him the only person by inference who might have thrown a hand grenade.There is no witness that he did.

3) Soldiers killed while attacking a house in a foreign country cannot be victims of murder. They are casualties of war.

4) People in a house being attacked by foreigners are engaged in self-defense.

full article: www.insight-info.com

LOCAL COMMUNITY LEADER SENTENCED IN TERRORISM CASE

Seyed Mahmoud Mousavi

Seyed Mahmoud Mousavi

LOS ANGELES – A federal court today sentenced Seyed Mousavi — a respected local community leader — before a packed courtroom to 33 months in prison for filing false tax returns, omitting group membership on naturalization forms, and violating the U.S. economic embargo against Iran. Though the government asked for a 9 year sentence, the Court was compelled by the myriad of evidence in Mousavi’s favor and ultimately sentenced him to less than one-third of the government’s request. From community members to concerned law students, there has been an outpouring of support for Mousavi in what has become an extremely politicized trial.

On June 29, 2006, the FBI raided Mousavi’s home, business and place of worship at gunpoint in the early morning hours, handcuffing family members and carting off boxes of documents and computers. More than a year later, Mousavi was arrested in his mosque despite assurance from the government that he would be allowed to turn himself in if they decided to charge him. On April 24, 2008, Mousavi — father of two UCLA students — was convicted of filing false tax returns, omitting group membership on naturalization forms, and violating the U.S. economic embargo against Iran. His lawyer failed to present evidence in his defense.

Though not charged with or convicted of acts of terrorism, the government attempted to paint Mousavi with the broad brush of “terrorist.” The prosecution invoked unsubstantiated assertions, xenophobia and “secret evidence” of terrorism early-on in the case. As a result, Mousavi sat in jail without bail for over one year on these non-violent charges. At a hearing last week attended by 120 supporters, a new defense team presented substantial evidence of Mousavi’s innocence but was denied a motion for a new trial.

full article: www.insight-info.com

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

John McCain, Torture Puppet

Sen. John McCain, who recently shelved his opposition to torture by voting against a bill banning the use of torture by the CIA,, compounded his desperate lunge for the Hard Right vote by declaring that last Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling, granting constitutional habeas corpus rights to the prisoners at Guantánamo, was “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.”

John McCain

As the conservative columnist George F. Will asked, in a Washington Post column, “Does it rank with Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857), which concocted a constitutional right, unmentioned in the document, to own slaves and held that black people have no rights that white people are bound to respect? With Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which affirmed the constitutionality of legally enforced racial segregation? With Korematsu v. United States (1944), which affirmed the wartime right to sweep American citizens of Japanese ancestry into concentration camps?”

McCain’s effort portray Barack Obama as soft on terror flies in the face of the ever-growing evidence that the entire “War on Terror” imprisonment program has been both chronically brutal and irredeemably flawed, and that Obama is correct to call the ruling “an important step toward reestablishing our credibility as a nation committed to the rule of law, and rejecting a false choice between fighting terrorism and respecting habeas corpus.”

On ABC News on Monday, Obama explained more, saying, “Let’s take the example of Guantánamo. What we know is that in previous terrorist attacks, for example, the first attack against the World Trade Center, we were able to arrest those responsible, put them on trial. They are currently in US prisons, incapacitated. And the fact that the administration has not tried to do that has created a situation where not only have we never actually put many of these folks on trial, but we have destroyed our credibility when it comes to rule of law all around the world.”

Full article: http://www.insight-info.com/articles/item.aspx?i=1182

US accused of holding terror suspects on prison ships

· Report says 17 boats used

· MPs seek details of UK role

· Europe attacks 42-day plan

 Duncan Campbell and Richard Norton-Taylor

 The Guardian,

 Monday June 2 2008

 

The United States is operating “floating prisons” to house those arrested in its war on terror, according to human rights lawyers, who claim there has been an attempt to conceal the numbers and whereabouts of detainees.

Details of ships where detainees have been held and sites allegedly being used in countries across the world have been compiled as the debate over detention without trial intensifies on both sides of the Atlantic. The US government was yesterday urged to list the names and whereabouts of all those detained.

Information about the operation of prison ships has emerged through a number of sources, including statements from the US military, the Council of Europe and related parliamentary bodies, and the testimonies of prisoners.

The analysis, due to be published this year by the human rights organisation Reprieve, also claims there have been more than 200 new cases of rendition since 2006, when President George Bush declared that the practice had stopped.

It is the use of ships to detain prisoners, however, that is raising fresh concern and demands for inquiries in Britain and the US.

According to research carried out by Reprieve, the US may have used as many as 17 ships as “floating prisons” since 2001. Detainees are interrogated aboard the vessels and then rendered to other, often undisclosed, locations, it is claimed.

Ships that are understood to have held prisoners include the USS Bataan and USS Peleliu. A further 15 ships are suspected of having operated around the British territory of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, which has been used as a military base by the UK and the Americans.

Reprieve will raise particular concerns over the activities of the USS Ashland and the time it spent off Somalia in early 2007 conducting maritime security operations in an effort to capture al-Qaida terrorists.

At this time many people were abducted by Somali, Kenyan and Ethiopian forces in a systematic operation involving regular interrogations by individuals believed to be members of the FBI and CIA. Ultimately more than 100 individuals were “disappeared” to prisons in locations including Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Guantánamo Bay.

Reprieve believes prisoners may have also been held for interrogation on the USS Ashland and other ships in the Gulf of Aden during this time.

The Reprieve study includes the account of a prisoner released from Guantánamo Bay, who described a fellow inmate’s story of detention on an amphibious assault ship. “One of my fellow prisoners in Guantánamo was at sea on an American ship with about 50 others before coming to Guantánamo … he was in the cage next to me. He told me that there were about 50 other people on the ship. They were all closed off in the bottom of the ship. The prisoner commented to me that it was like something you see on TV. The people held on the ship were beaten even more severely than in Guantánamo.”

Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve’s legal director, said: “They choose ships to try to keep their misconduct as far as possible from the prying eyes of the media and lawyers. We will eventually reunite these ghost prisoners with their legal rights.

“By its own admission, the US government is currently detaining at least 26,000 people without trial in secret prisons, and information suggests up to 80,000 have been ‘through the system’ since 2001. The US government must show a commitment to rights and basic humanity by immediately revealing who these people are, where they are, and what has been done to them.”

Andrew Tyrie, the Conservative MP who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on extraordinary rendition, called for the US and UK governments to come clean over the holding of detainees.

“Little by little, the truth is coming out on extraordinary rendition. The rest will come, in time. Better for governments to be candid now, rather than later. Greater transparency will provide increased confidence that President Bush’s departure from justice and the rule of law in the aftermath of September 11 is being reversed, and can help to win back the confidence of moderate Muslim communities, whose support is crucial in tackling dangerous extremism.”

The Liberal Democrat’s foreign affairs spokesman, Edward Davey, said: “If the Bush administration is using British territories to aid and abet illegal state abduction, it would amount to a huge breach of trust with the British government. Ministers must make absolutely clear that they would not support such illegal activity, either directly or indirectly.”

A US navy spokesman, Commander Jeffrey Gordon, told the Guardian: “There are no detention facilities on US navy ships.” However, he added that it was a matter of public record that some individuals had been put on ships “for a few days” during what he called the initial days of detention. He declined to comment on reports that US naval vessels stationed in or near Diego Garcia had been used as “prison ships”.

The Foreign Office referred to David Miliband’s statement last February admitting to MPs that, despite previous assurances to the contrary, US rendition flights had twice landed on Diego Garcia. He said he had asked his officials to compile a list of all flights on which rendition had been alleged.

CIA “black sites” are also believed to have operated in Thailand, Afghanistan, Poland and Romania.

In addition, numerous prisoners have been “extraordinarily rendered” to US allies and are alleged to have been tortured in secret prisons in countries such as Syria, Jordan, Morocco and Egypt.

Israeli Army raids Hebron Orphanage home to 110 girls

At 1.00 in the morning on the 30th of April, the Israeli Army raids orphanage in Hebron, home to 110 girls, seizing all equipment from community sewing workshop. The Hebron Orphanage for girls is run by the Charitable Islamic Society,(I.C.S) and houses 110 children.

Palestinian protest

 

The ICS is accused by Israel of funding the Hamas movement under the table, and in recent years, the ICS has been raided several times by the Israeli Army who seized computers and paper work from their offices. Now the Israeli government wants to take property owned by the ICS and has issued a court order to this effect. Bassim the director of the Hebron orphanage for girls says that the Israeli officials came and inspected a sewing work shop in the basement, a project set up to give local women whose husbands are in gaol a means of earning a living.

The official forbade any one from working in the room he photographed and made an inventory of all sewing machines and related equipment in the basement.He forbade Bassim from moving the workshop elsewhere threatening him with a prison sentence of five years were he to do so, he then said that the army would come and remove the equipment after the 26th of April 2008. The Christian Peace Maker teams were concerned about the effects of such a raid on the children so began to sleep over night in the orphanage. At one in the morning on the 30th of April the army drove three trucks into the playground of the orphanage, one equipped with a winch for hauling heavy equipment.They sawed up the metal table for cutting fabric with an angle grinder, and seized everything from the workshop including the stock of clothes sewn by the women.They swept the floor and left taking everything leaving the room utterly void.The Christian Peace Maker Teams tried to speak with the soldiers about their actions, but they refused to engage and completely ignored them.

Taken from: www.insight-info.com