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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2010
5:24 PM

Groups Reach Out to Attorney General; Fahad Hashmi Imprisoned Under Deplorable Conditions

Special Administrative Measure Set to Expire Friday for Man Whose Acquaintance Allegedly Sent Waterproof Socks, Rain Ponchos to Al-Qaeda

NEW YORK - October 27 - Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the Council on American-Islamic Relations of New York (CAIR-NY), and Educators for Civil Liberties, and Muslim Justice Initiative wrote Attorney General Eric Holder to request that the unduly harsh unjustifiably severe Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) regulations under which Syed Fahad Hashmi is being held under not be continued renewed when they expire this Friday. Mr. Hashmi has already suffered was kept under these harsh deplorable conditions of confinement for three years while of detention awaiting his trial last April, and has remained in solitary confinement and under SAMs since then. The impact on his mental health has been devastating.
The letter reads in part:
Scholarly and medical research has overwhelmingly demonstrated the severe health effects of prolonged solitary confinement; military officials and Vietnam veterans including Senator John McCain have testified to its damaging results. The use of prolonged solitary confinement puts the United States increasingly out of step with world opinion and is an affront to American values of civil rights and humane treatment. Other people convicted of terrorism-related charges, including John Walker Lindh, Richard Reid, and Matt Hale have seen their SAMs not renewed. We ask the U.S. Department of Justice to not renew Syed Hashmi's SAMs and to end his solitary confinement.
The material support and services charges against Mr. Hashmi were 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, he allowed Babar to store waterproof socks and rain ponchos in his luggage apartment that he Babar later allegedly later delivered to Al Qaeda in South Waziristan. Mr. Hashmi denies any intentional involvement with any violent organization, but accepted a 15-year sentence in a plea bargain when he faced a possible 70-year sentence.
 
For more information about Syed Fahad Hashmi’s case, click here. To download a PDF of the letter click here
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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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