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Sunday, April 04, 2010

Not Just Guantanamo: U.S. Torturing Muslim Pre-trial Detainee in New York City

Once accused of connections with terrorism or al Qaeda, apparently, the U.S. constitution and international human rights apparently do not apply. Torture by the U.S. is allowed. Pre-trial punishment is allowed. The presumption of innocence goes out the window. Counsel of choice is not allowed. Communication with news media not allowed.

By Bill Quigley
April 03, 2010 "Information Clearing House" -- Today in New York City, the U.S. is torturing a Muslim detainee with no prior criminal record who has not even gone to trial.

For the last almost three years, Syed Fahad Hashmi has been kept in total pre-trial isolation inside in a small cell under 24 hour video and audio surveillance. He is forced to use the bathroom and shower in full view of the video. He has not seen the sun in years. He takes his meals alone in his cell. He cannot see any other detainees and he is not allowed to communicate in any way with any prisoners. He cannot write letters to friends and he cannot make calls to anyone but his lawyer. He is prohibited from participating in group prayer. He gets newspapers that are 30 days old with sections cut out by the government. One hour a day he is taken into another confined room where he is also kept in total isolation.

Children are taught that the U.S. Constitution protects people accused of crimes. No one is to be punished unless their guilt or innocence has been decided in a fair trial. Until trial, people are entitled to the presumption of innocence. They are entitled to be defended by an attorney of their choice. And the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

The punishment of Mr. Hashmi has been going on for years while he has been waiting for trial. In addition to the punitive isolation he is subjected to today, he was denied the attorney of his choice. He was allowed only counsel investigated and pre-approved by the government. He is not allowed to look at any translated documents unless the translator is pre-approved by the government. He is not allowed any contact with the media at all. One member of his family can visit through the heavy screen for one hour every other week unless the government takes away those visits to further punish him. The government took away his family visits for 90 days when he was observed shadow boxing in his cell and talked back to the guard who asked what he was doing. LinkHere

The trial of Syed Fahad Hashmi is set for April 28, 2010 in New York. Till then he will continue to be tortured by the U.S. government whose star spangled banner proclaims it to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Syed Mehmood Ahmed Hashmi (born 1980) is a Pakistani American and US Citizen. He was arrested in London, England on June 6, 2006 based on an indictment from the United States charging him with providing material support to Al-Qaeda.

Hashmi was born in Karachi, Pakistan in 1980. Upon birth he was also given the name Fahad and that is how most people know him. He emigrated with his family to the United States when he was three years old. His family settled in Flushing, New York where he was raised and attended school.

He graduated from Robert F Wagner High School in 1998 and then attended SUNY Stony Brook. He eventually transferred to Brooklyn College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2003. A devout Muslim, through the years he established a reputation as an activist. In 2003 he enrolled at London Metropolitan University in England to pursue a master's degree in International relations which he received in 2006.

On June 6, 2006 he was arrested at Heathrow Airport based on an indictment from an American federal grand jury. The charges were of conspiring to send money and military gear to al Qaeda associates who lived in Pakistan. Hashmi's lawyer found out that the items being labeled as "military gear" were socks and rainproof ponchos.

His arrest is based on the testimony of Junaid Babar, an informant attempting to get a reduction in his own 70-year prison sentence. Junaid had stayed for a short while in Hashmi's apartment in London.

He was housed as a Category A, high security, prisoner at HM Prison Belmarsh while fighting extradition to the United States. In March 2007, the High Court of England and Wales ruled against him. He was then extradited to the United States in May 2007 and arraigned before District Judge Loretta A. Preska. Since he was extradited to the United States, he has been held in solitary confinement in the Special Housing Unit at Metropolitan Correction Center in Manhattan, with no trial.

China's Documentation Of US Human Rights Abuses

By Stephen Lendman 4-3-10

On March 11, the US State Department issued its "2009 Human Rights Report: China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau)," calling the People's Republic of China (PRC) "an authoritarian state in which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) constitutionally is the paramount source of power," practicing: Link Here


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