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Saturday, 29 November 2014

The toll of the justice system on the wrongfully convicted

In the US, state laws governing compensation for wrongfully convicted people vary significantly. While some states offer sizable packages for the exonerated, at least 20 offer nothing. And even for those that do, it may not be enough to make up for the emotional damage on those who've been wrongfully convicted. Hari Sreenivasan reports.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

"I'm an innocent man.

"I'm an innocent man. I spent 15 years in prison for something I didn't do. I watched my father die in a British prison for something he didn't do. And this government still says he's guilty. I want to tell them that until my father is proved innocent, until all the people involved in this case are proved innocent, until the guilty ones are brought to justice, I will fight on. In the name of my father and of the truth!" - Gerry Conlon Until all wronged people in prison are proved innocent, until the guilty ones are brought to justice, we will fight on. In the name of your father and the name of his son and of the truth! 

LIVE: Londoners rally outside US embassy for 'justice for Mike Brown'

Protesters are expected to rally outside the US embassy in London on November 26 to protest the decision by a St Louis Grand Jury not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of African-American teenager Michael Brown. Carol Duggan, the aunt of Mark Duggan, who was shot by London police in August 2011, is expected to speak at the event


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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A message from Mark Duggan's family to Mike Brown's

61 people were arrested in Ferguson after unrest erupted on the streets following a Grand Jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson, a white officer who shot an unarmed black teenager Michael Brown to death.
But it's not just an American problem. Violent riots followed a killing of a black man in the UK's Tottemham in 2011. 29-year old Mark Duggan was shot dead by a police officer in the chest. Police say he was suspected of planning an attack as he was in possession of a handgun. But the time he was shot Duggan was unarmed. And his family calls it an execution.
We spoke to Duggan's aunt Claire and she sent her deepest condolences to the family on Michael Brown and Ferguson.

"In the Now" with RT's Senior Political correspondent Anissa Naouai is the first dedicated nightly Primetime show to air live out of our Moscow headquarters. Host Anissa Naouai has worked in the field for almost a decade and has reported from over 80 cities across the globe. Now from Monday to Thursday viewers can enjoy fresh, honest, and hard-hitting news coverage on some of the world's most pressing issues with one of RT's most experienced journalists . We'll put the spotlight on stories you'll never hear on mainstream networks or even in RT's daily news bulletins. "In the Now" - 10pm Moscow, 7pm London, 2pm New York.

A SPECIAL REPORT ON DR. AAFIA SIDDIQUI: Please Read, Reflect, and Circulate

11006 Veirs Mill Rd, STE L-15, PMB 298
Silver Spring, MD. 20902
(November 22, 2014)
Please ReadReflect, and Circulate
Assalaamu Alaikum (Greetings of Peace):
This is coming to our readers from the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas; it is especially (though not exclusively) directed to the Muslim readers of our listserve.
I arrived in Texas on the morning of Friday, November 14, with the intent of spending three days in Houston and one day in Dallas-Fort Worth. This plan abruptly changed on Wednesday, November 19, after I received an alarming message from Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui (Aafia's sister in Karachi, Pakistan). I am presently in Fort Worth, and I now expect to be in Texas for at least another full week, insha'Allah.
This trip to Texas (mirroring life itself) has been attended by some incredible highs and lows. A delegation of concerned Muslims met with a Pakistani Consulate official, Ms. Saadia Qazi, on Monday, November 17. One of the members of this delegation was a young brother who brought back some fond memories of our first mobilization for Sister Aafia outside of theCarswell Reserve Base in Fort Worth, TX - home of the prison hospital where Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is imprisoned, FMC Carswell.
That mobilization was supported by 100 plus committed souls (primarily Muslims), a large segment of whom were students of the Al Bayinnah Institute at the Islamic Center of Irving. (One of the locals later opined that, as far as he knew, it was the largest demonstration ever held outside of that base.)
The young brother, who was present at the Houston mobilization with his Mother and sisters, was also present in Fort Worth for that highly successful first mobilization about three years ago. His presence, coupled with some of the balanced and on point criticisms he made (regarding some of our "leaders" and "people of knowledge"), gave this writer reason for hope. My disappointment with both categories of Muslims in the U.S., generally speaking, is reflected in the following rhetorical question:
What good is "sacred knowledge" if it is primarily confined to the inner chambers of one's head, but extremely limited in one's practice?
This young brother's presence and perspective, and the presence of everyone else on that unseasonably cold day in Houston, was the first high that I experienced on this trip. The second high came a day later when I received an exuberant email message from Sr. Fowzia alerting me to the fact that she had received a call from the consular official that we met with (Ms. Qazi) to inform her of Qazi's intent to visit Aafia the following day to facilitate a long overdue call to her family. Fowzia was instructed to expect a call about 1:30 PM U.S. Central Time (which would be late in the night Pakistani time).
The deep low came a day or two later, when I learned that the call (that the family had been praying for) never came! Ms. Qazi reportedly traveled to FMC Carswell, but was unsuccessful in facilitating the long awaited telephone call. It was the alarming circumstance surrounding this lack of success that was most shocking, however!
Dr. Fowzia subsequently called this writer to emotionally walk me through what she was told. Ms. Qazi was initially told Aafia did not want to see her. If I understood Fowzia correctly, Qazi insisted on seeing Aafia, but when she was escorted to her cell she ended up addressing a woman who had her back turned to her the entire duration of that short visit. She never saw Aafia's face! Qazi reportedly said the woman returned her greeting, but when she attempted to communicate with her further she just recited verses from the Qur'an. No other words were spoken by this woman who was supposed to be Aafia, and she never turned around. I repeat, Ms. Saadia Qazi never saw her face!
Is the government involved in another cover-up?
The tragic story of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is mired in layers upon layers of cover-up - from the time she was targeted for a rendition operation (i.e., secret kidnapping, detention and torture) in her native Pakistan, based on nothing more than the "suspicion" of being a high ranking female functionary for al-Qaeda, to being brought back to the U.S. five years later (2008) and charged with "attempting to murder U.S. personnel" in Afghanistan.
The question arises, is Aafia now embroiled in yet another cover-up? Was the woman who never turned around to face her rare visitor really Aafia Siddiqui? And if she wasn't Aafia, where is Aafia? If it was Aafia Siddiqui, what is the extent of her injury (within a prison medical institution!) that she would engage in such abnormal behavior?! The former "ghost prisoner" at Bagram (Afghanistan) who's frequent sobbing and haunting screams - from missing her children and from what was being done to her - would sometimes keep the male prisoners awake at night. A countrywoman arrives to facilitate a telephone call that she hasn't had in MONTHS, and the person identified as Aafia turns her back and refuses to cooperate?!
What We Must Do!
This Aafia supporter (and a number of others) received the following message earlier today from a frontline Aafia supporter in Pakistan.

On Nov 22, 2014, at 4:09 AM, altaf shakoor <altafshakoor@gmail.com> wrote:

Dear All / Salams

Dec 10 is Intl. human rights day. I appeal to you all to arrange a program for Aafia's release on that day or a day before. There are 18 days left. Pls treat this matter as most urgent, as the last call the family received from Aafia was about 8 or 9 months ago. The family is not sure whether she is alive or not. There is absolute silence from both the establishments (Pak+USA).

Pls don't wait for Dr. Fowzia's email, as this is no more [only] a family issue. Every living heart feels Aafia's pain. We should take the initiative. You all have been supporting the cause for the last few years. Now the situation is worse. More efforts are required in the current situation.

My apology in advance if i have offended someone.

Thanks and best regards,


The sender of this message, a friend of this writer (and a brother-in-Islam), is a leader of one of the strongest organizational support networks that Dr. Siddiqui (and her family) have in Pakistan - the PASBAN. When Br. Altaf wrote these words he could have been reading my mind. After reading his message, my immediate response was:  I agree, dear brother. We will plan something MAJOR for the U.S., insha'Allah.
And then we have the appeal made to the ICNA organization by two other Aafia supporters in Houston (TX). Sr. Dina and Sr. Alba made the following request of the organizers of the upcoming ICNA-MAS convention scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend in Houston.
On Nov 17, 2014, at 10:25 PM, Dina Ghani <email omitted> wrote:

Assalamu Alaikum,
 brother in Islam, on behalf of  "The Peace Thru Justice Foundation"  we would like to request to have a booth dedicated to Dr. Aafia Siddiqui  at  the ICNA convention on 28th Nov. at [the]  Marriot Hotel, Houston.  The Aafia movement is founded on principle, not politics.
Please let us know if we are allowed to have this booth in this forthcoming ICNA convention because Dr. Aafia  is  a  daughter, a mother, and  a sister in Islam (yours and mine).
How we react to the fate of this sister in Islam will be our legacy. Let us make it a legacy of dignity,  inshaAllah,
sis. Dina  and  sis. Alba.
What a powerful message, and how true! Aafia's plight is connected indeed to our "dignity" and  generational "legacy" in this part of the world. How we respond (or fail to appropriately respond) to the challenges of our time will reverberate for generations to come, insha'Allah.
When I first saw this message I was hopeful that these sisters would be given the opportunity to hold down the fort for Aafia in Houston. However, they were politely informed that if the request had come in earlier it could have been accommodated, but the booths were already sold out. With the recent shock at Carswell, and my decision to remain in Texas for an additional week, I am now planning to attend the ICNA-MAS Convention myself, and I am hopeful, given this critical circumstance, that the organizers will make time for a meaningful statement to be made at the convention regarding Dr. Aafia Siddiqui
I've made a request for a meeting with the North Texas Islamic Council (NTIC), through Br. Khalil Meek, to discuss the plight of Aafia and what can be done to assist her in the DFW area. I hope to have that meeting on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday of next week. I'm also reaching out to individual   shura boards in the DFW area for brotherly accommodation. Insha'Allah, we will let our readers know how respective leaders in this area respond.
On Wednesday night or Thursday morning I will be heading back to Houston, insha'Allah. (I hope to begin my long drive back east no later than Monday, iA.)
I noted in my request to the NTIC:
We urgently need a community-wide mobilization [in the DFW area] that will convey concern for this committed Muslim woman, and a demand that her human rights be respected, even as a prisoner of war. Toward this end, we must also demand that she be examined by an independent team of doctors to determine the full extent of her physical and psychological injury.
On the home front, we are planning two major efforts in Washington, DC, for Wednesday, December 10th (International Human Rights Day): (1) a press conference - at a time and location to be announced; (2) a protest rally - at a time and location to be announced.
It is without question that our sister (if she is still alive) is in grave danger. FMC Carswell has a notorious history of abusing female prisoners, from reported serial rapists to an estimated 100 women who have reportedly died at FMC Carswell over a 10 year period (some reportedly under mysterious circumstances with their families unable to get official autopsy reports on cause of death).
For those Muslims who choose to see the difficulties, as opposed to the benefits, of this challenge, we strongly encourage you to reflect on the following hadith:
"None of you will believe until you love for your brother [or sister] 
what you love for yourself." - Prophet Mohamed (pbuh)
In the never-ending struggle for peace thru justice,
El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan
Director of Operations
The Peace Thru Justice Foundation
E-mail: ssaala@aol.com (personal)
peacethrujustice@aol.com (organization)
Mobile: (202) 246-9608
P.S. The Muslim Link newspaper has just published a piece of commentary by this writer that responds to the question: "Why Aafia?" You can access the article via the following link:
More Now Than Ever!
As one can imagine this work is TIME, ENERGY, and RESOURCE INTENSIVE. Please make a contribution today. For Muslims, it's one of the most meritorious forms of Zakat or Sadaqa we can give. Send a check or money order to:
The Peace Thru Justice Foundation
11006 Veirs Mill Road
STE L-15, PMB 298
Silver Spring, MD. 20902
Go online to: www.civilfreedoms.org to make a tax-deductible online donation.
(Should you choose this method, please send an email alert to peacethrujustice@aol.com ... to alert us to the online donation made.)

Thank you!!!

Macklemore marches with protestors in Seattle

Monday, 24 November 2014

The Nationwide List Of "Day After" Protests Planned To Demand Justice For Michael Brown

http://beforeitsnews.com/contributor/upload/12342/images/ferguson-response-network.png tumblr_static_b5o1ty0uvr40kw48 ...

In expectation of the Grand Jury exonerating Darren Wilson in the murder of Michael Brown, day of/day after demonstrations have been planned in Ferguson and in cities around the country.  Law enforcement has the same expectation of an unjust verdict and is preparing for civil unrest.  The Democratic governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, has basically declared martial law in anticipation of actions that have not even happened.  Adding fuel to the flame, the FBI warns police that protests will likely involve threats and attacks against police and property and to prepare to respond in kind.
Just as the U.S. government cannot resolve international disputes without waging wars on the oppressed people of the earth, the wars at home are waged by a militarized police force against people of color and working people without any validation of their rights or concessions to their complaints.  The goal abroad and domestically is also the same – to crush resistance and to maintain domination of the military/industrial/financial capitalist system.
All community activists are urged to come out in a massive show of solidarity with those who suffer most by police brutality.  To find out what is planned in your area, go to the website of the Ferguson National Response Network atfergusonresponse.tumblr.com.


Bro. Shep's Guidelines For Non-Violent Public Protest Marches & Rally's!!

*Zulu King Sadiki "Bro. Shep" Olugbala s/n Shepard P. McDaniel, is a former member of the "original" Black Panther Party New York State Chapter, who has over 42 years of experience in organizing and training others in militant "non-violent" community protest marches, rally's, boycotts, demonstrations and Anti-Police Terror tactics & actions.
Additionally, "Bro. Shep" has personally provided security in both the aforementioned areas and for high profile events such as the NYC visits by then Cuban President Fidel Castro, former Ghanian President Jerry Rollins, the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and other foreign dignitaries during visits to NYC's Black & Brown Communities.

FergGuidelines For Non-Violent Public Protest Marches & Rally's
Dependent upon their collective experience; Your group leadership should have at least (1) logistical planning meeting prior to the actual day of the rally, march or demonstration. Included in the agenda should be the identification of the Security Coordinator, Lead Spokesperson, Police Laizon, and an itemized review of ALL the below guideline areas.
Legal Observers
It is very important to have at least (1 to 2) legal observers "visibly" on hand throughout the protest action. Their presence can not only work as a deter ant to police misconduct but also provide your group with a lawyer who can testify as a witness in court on your groups behalf.  Both The National Lawyers Guild & The ACLU can provide your group with lawyers to observe the action.
Peoples Security

First & Foremost It Most Be Understood By ALL That The Security & Protection Of The Group Is Paramount.
1. Whenever Possible, Security Should Do An Advanced Walk Through Of The Protest Area In Order To Gather The Necessary Intelligence.
2. Security Should Meet Separately In Order To Produce A Competent Security Plan For The Day.
3. Security Should Be "Visibly" identifiable by approved clothing, colors, armbands, radios etc.
4. All Security Must follow the established chain of command, protocol, rules of engagement and "Orders Of The Day"
5. All Security MUST Be Courteous, Non-Antagonistic and Professional in any & all actions.
Agent Provocateurs
A) Historically all government agencies and private companies have used agent provocateurs at mass demonstrations in order to agitate disorder and/or violent situations which will justify the mass police attacks & arrests of demonstrators for the explicit purposes of:
1. To Discredit The Legitimate Cause Of The Protestors
2. To Discourage Future Protests & Organizing
3. To Drain Organizational Resources In Bail & Court Fees
4. To Jail And/Or Physically Assault The Activist Leadership
5. To Disperse The Crowd & Put An Immediate End To The Protest

B) Do Not Be Deceived. This protest either has been or will be infiltrated by agent provocateurs and in order to defeat their efforts to disrupt please adhere to the following protocols:
1. Refuse To Be Drawn Into Arguments With Any Passer By Opposition or Bystanders. If You Are Handing Out Leaflets Then Leaflet & Keep It Moving.
2. Do Not Engage In Any Rock, Bottle Or Projectile Throwing & If You Witness Any Such Activity Immediate Leave From That Area.
3. Do Not Cross Any Police Barriers & Absolutely Do Not Engage In Any Direct Conversation With The Police. Only The Identified Group Liazon/Spokesperson Should Speak To The Confirmed Police Supervisor and/or Police Community Officer In Charge.
4. Stay Together With Your Group; Remain Orderly When Marching; And Do Not Break Ranks Or Allow Anyone From Outside The Group To Break Your Ranks.
5. If You Must Defend Yourself, Do Not Strike The First Blow. Call Upon Your Comrades To Surround & Isolate The Offender Until Security Assists In Physically Removing The Aggressor From The Group
6. Follow The Instructions Of Our Peoples Security At All Times & The Written "Orders Of The Day"
Orders Of The Day (sample sheet)
6. EMERGENCY PHONE # _______________________________________________
7. NEAREST HOSPITAL     _______________________________________________
8. NEAREST POLICE PCT. _______________________________________________

Authored By: Zulu King Sadiki "Bro. Shep" Olugbala
UZN Minister Of Community Affairs - World Wide


Free All Political Prisoners!

Educate Not Just Incarcerate

Just saying "NO" is not the answer... Arkansas CURE
Says “YES” to rehabilitation for those who have erred

Join Us&hellip; To provide information on criminal justice through education and advocacy. Pick a state....any state, except Arkansas. When it comes to rehabilitation, treatment programming and 21st. Century prison reform, Arkansas is trailing too far behind.

Costing a mother over $8.00 a call to hear the voice of her son. Prisoners are assigned to the hoe squad when they enter an Arkansas prison&hellip;just as in the past and still called rehabilitation in 2014?

Most States have Prison Work Programs providing commercial job skills and overseen by civilian supervisors. Inmate education is proven to be the most effective program at reducing recidivism... Schools not jails.

Help Us with your Time&hellip;Or Donate To Help Advocate &amp; Educate&hellip;Thanks!

Arkansas CURE http://www.arkansascure.org ...LIKE US ON facebook Arkansas CURE

People For Schapelle Corby #SchapelleCorby

Why has the entire Australian establishment remained silent, whilst Schapelle and Mercedes Corby have had their human rights revoked?
Why has not a single politician objected?
Why has the entire media remained absolutely silent? Why have gutter journalists been allowed to continue to smear and ridicule, whilst Schapelle and her sister are illegally and conveniently gagged?
1. Schapelle Corby's boogie-board bag was the only one not scanned at Sydney Airport: it was diverted past the scanner by baggage staff. Customs Minister Ellison withheld this life critical information, even when Schapelle Corby’s lawyer asked directly about scanning. [Transit Report]
2. This information was also hidden from Parliament, when direct questions were asked, and critically, it was withheld from the Bali court. John Howard, and his long term colleague, Head of Sydney Airport Corporation Ltd, Max Moore-Wilton, were also aware, but remained silent. [Transit Report]
3. The AFP never investigated the reason for this missing screening data, and AFP Commissioner Keelty, who was also informed, never commented upon it. Keelty was also aware, via Operation Mocha, that the same baggage handlers were simultaneously engaging in other drug related activities. [Transit Report]
4. Schapelle Corby checked her bags in underweight, but they were subsequently found to be 5kg overweight on the Qantas system (which would have carried an excess charge of $175). This clearly indicated the addition of a significant weight factor, after the bags left her hands. [Transit Report]
5. Again, neither Schapelle Corby, nor the Bali court, were ever provided with this critical information. [Supplementary Report]
6. Two weeks before the verdict, AFP Commissioner Keelty told the media that there was no evidence of airport drug syndicates using innocent passengers, when this was clearly, demonstrably, and utterly, false. The AFP had held the Kessing Reports for months, and it withheld a host of other vital support evidence, which proved the long term and systemic nature of such syndication at Sydney Airport. [Transit Report]
7. The AFP and DFAT demonstrably evaded and frustrated the forensic and DNA tests which Schapelle Corby begged for in court. [Mutual Evasion Report]
8. The AFP told Parliament that it couldn't perform marijuana pollen tests, when it had the capacity to do so, and indeed, had originally offered to perform them for the INP. It also refused the services of a forensics expert, who had volunteered to perform them. [Mutual Evasion Report]
9. Ellison subsequently told a clearly false story about marijuana testing, in a written letter to a constituent. [Mutual Evasion Report]
10. DFAT did not invoke the MACMA treaty to obtain the sample of marijuana (for DNA testing) which Schapelle Corby begged for, when it could have done so within the provisions of the treaty itself. [Mutual Evasion Report]
11. The AFP and Qantas provided wholly contradictory stories about the missing CCTV footage, which Schapelle Corby pleaded for. No footage was ever provided, from any airport, despite over 800 cameras being in situ. [Transit Report]
12. Foreign Minister Downer, and Prime Minister Howard, publicly endorsed the original Bali trial, when they were well aware that a multitude of legal and human rights abuses had been committed throughout. [Bali Trial Report]
13. Ellison publicly endorsed the burning of the physical evidence, whilst Schapelle Corby pleaded desperately for it to be preserved and tested. [Mutual Evasion Report]
14. DFAT have, de facto, endorsed and suppressed the ongoing and documented abuses of a mentally ill Australian citizen for more than nine years. [Health Report]
15. ACLEI, when forced to examine the AFP's role in the affair, was directly and demonstrably complicit with an AFP officer, in producing a report which was an utter embarrassment to all parties. A functionary, who was at the heart of the Howard regime when the AFP abuses occurred, was allowed to rubber stamp ACLEI's complicit rubber stamp. [Whitewash Report]
16. The government pressed and forced an Australian QC, Mark Trowell, on to Schapelle Corby for her appeal. He then decimated the appeal by attacking her defence team to the media. When he subsequently admitted that he was working for the government, and not for Schapelle Corby, the government refused to comment. The precise role of Justice & Customs Minister Ellison in this affair, Trowell’s long term friend, has never been explained. [Insider Report]
17. Downer and Howard publicly described a standard flour hoax at the Indonesian embassy as a “murderous attack”, using a “biological agent”, when there was no evidence whatsoever to suggest that it wasn’t benign. Neither of them revealed that the note included with the flour didn't refer to Schapelle Corby at all, and was written in Bahasa, when they promptly blamed it on her supporters. [PowderGate Report]
18. Ellison did not alert any of the parties necessary to prevent the false, but support-wrecking, story from circulating around the world. Yet, he was informed of the benign nature of the flour, by email, at 6:35pm on the same day. [PowderGate Report]
19. The government seized Schapelle Corby's book royalties under proceeds of crime legislation, whilst she was still in legal process in Indonesia, sending a clear signal to Jakarta. It further brought the judiciary into disrepute, by illegally extending its jurisdiction outside Australian borders, and holding secret trials, at which Schapelle Corby was not even represented. [Political Seizure Report]
20. The government thus denied her the funds for a further appeal, and for on-going medication, despite full knowledge of the nature of the original trial, and of the vital primary evidence which had been wilfully withheld. [Political Seizure Report]
21. Dozens of breaches of the Freedom of Information Act, with respect to requests made on behalf of Schapelle Corby, have been recorded. The AFP alone has spent in the region of $1 million in frustrating efforts to obtain further evidential information. [FOI Abuse Report]
22. The AFP suppressed a secret recording of two known criminals discussing the collection of marijuana from Sydney Airport on the same day that Schapelle Corby flew to Bali. [Candidate Sources Report]
23. The Commonwealth Ombudsman has supported the government with respect to every complaint ever lodged relating to Schapelle Corby by members of the public. The same applies to the ACMA, the OAIC, and every other quango presented to the public as a ‘watchdog’. [Quango Report]
24. . Serious media abuses, including direct criminal matters, such as phone hacking and illegal recording, were submitted to the Finkelstein media inquiry in 2011, but were excluded. Compelling evidence of political interference with respect to the ABC, and of subsequent editorial and reporting abuses, continues to be ignored. [Media Reports]
25. The Attorney-General refused to accept a formal Crime Report, including a 450 page evidential Addendum, which documented serious breaches of the law by politicians and the AFP. [Crime Report].
This report explains why Schapelle Corby was such a threat to the corrupt of Canberra, and why these abuses were consequently perpetrated: