Groups Reach Out to Attorney General; Fahad Hashmi Imprisoned Under Deplorable Conditions
October 27, 2010, New York – 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 unjustifiably severe Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) regulations under which Syed Fahad Hashmi is being held under not be renewed when they expire this Friday. Mr. Hashmi has already suffered these deplorable conditions of confinement for three years while 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 apartment that Babar 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
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.