NYC Trial of Fahad Hashmi to Begin Jury Selection Wednesday: Experts, Family, Advocates Available for Comment

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Jen Nessel, 212.614.6449, jnessel@ccrjustice.org
David Lerner, Riptide Communications, 212.260.5000

NYC Trial of Fahad Hashmi to Begin Jury Selection Wednesday: Experts, Family, Advocates Available for Comment

Human Rights Groups Critical of Severe Special Administrative Measures; Anonymous Jury Motion Granted

NEW YORK - The New York City trial
of Fahad Hashmi is set to being with jury
selection on Wednesday, April 28. Opening arguments are expected
Thursday or
early next week. The case has drawn attention and criticism from human
rights
groups including the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Amnesty
International USA (AIUSA), and Council on American Islamic Relations-NY
(CAIR-NY) for the extremely harsh conditions of confinement Mr. Hashmi
has
faced for three years while awaiting trial under regulations called
Special
Administrative Measures (SAMs), their impact on his mental health, and
his
ability to effectively participate in his own defense.

Today,
a federal judge granted the government's motion for the jurors to be
anonymous and kept under extra security, which CCR publicly condemned as
an
attempt to frighten the jury in Mr. Hashmi's case, calling the U.S.
Attorney's motion "a clear attempt to influence the jury by
creating a sense of fear for their safety and to paint Mr. Hashmi as
already
guilty." In particular, CCR called the government's use of the
political activism around the issues of the trial to justify the
measures
"deplorable."

The
material support charges against Mr. Hashmi are based on the allegation
that he
allowed an acquaintance, Junaid Babar, to use his cell phone and to stay
with
him at his apartment in London where he was pursuing a Master's degree.
According to Mr. Hashmi's indictment, Babar had waterproof socks and
rain
ponchos in his luggage that he later delivered to Al Qaeda in South
Waziristan.
Mr. Hashmi denies all charges against him.

The
following are available for comment and analysis throughout the trial:

Bill
Quigley, Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights
, which signed
an open letter with AIUSA and CAIR-NY on SAM's and issued a statement
criticizing the request for an anonymous jury as an attempt to frighten
the
jurors and suggest Mr. Hashmi is guilty prior to his trial.

Shayana
Kadidal, Senior Managing Attorney of the Guantánamo Global Justice
Initiative
at the Center for Constitutional Rights
.

Tom
Parker, Policy Director for Terrorism, Counterterrorism and Human Rights
at
Amnesty International USA

Aliya
Latif, Civil Rights Director, CAIR-NY

Jeanne
Theoharis
,
Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College, author of numerous
books on
civil rights and the politics of race in 20th Century America,
co-founder of
Educators for Civil Liberties, and former professor of Fahad Hashmi.

Abu
Yousuf
,
close friend of Fahad Hashmi and advocate with Muslim Justice Initiative

Faisal
Hashmi
,
brother of Fahad

###

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

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