Yet another Eid has passed without hearing the sacred words of praise, feeling the customary hug from family members, or smelling the familiar foods. This month’s update brings its share of sorrow for many mothers.
We ask Allah to ease the hearts of the prisoners and their families and bestow on them His Mercy and to strengthen them with patience.
On November 1, 27 year old Rezwan Ferdaus, was sentenced to 17 years for two counts of terror-related charges in an entrapment case. He faced a possible 35 year sentence if he had opted to go to trial. Rezwan appreciated the support of family and friends, smiling as they shouted “We love you, Rezwan!” Tariq Mehanna’s parents were also present in a show of support. Rezwan’s mother, strong yet distraught, was visibly angered, “Investigate your government…They’ve been lying a lot,” she instructed the press.
Also on November 1, Shkumbin Sherifi and Nevine Elsheikh pleaded guilty to one count of murder for hire. They face a possible ten years and $250,000 fine when sentenced in February 2013. Without this plea, they faced near life sentences but are now government witnesses in Skumbin’s brother’s, Hysen Sherifi‘s, upcoming trial, set to start on Monday. Hysen, sentenced to 46 years for terror-related charges earlier this year, now faces a life sentence. Weighing the astronomical odds of fighting another entrapment case, the Sherifi family elected to have at least one son possibly return to see his dying father and live some semblance of a normal life.
The recent forced pleas remind us of the true nature of “terror” prosecutions; that in no way do they attempt to uncover truth or relegate justice. Despite destroying lives, families and communities, convictions and pleas are meaningless with respect to establishing guilt, which is why supporting our incarcerated brothers and sisters is a moral obligation, especially when they may be innocent in more ways than one.
It has been one month since the extradition of five British Muslims to the US, and families have not received any verbal or written communication from their loved ones. It is presumed that Adel Abdel Bary, Babar Ahmad, Khalid al-Fawwaz, Mustafa Mustafa, and Syed Talha Ahsan are being held incommunicado, sending a loud message to the international community of what American justice sounds like; oppressively silent.
Ahmed Ajaj, Adham Hassoun, and Randall Royer (currently in transit), who were removed from ADX Florence last month, have all been returned to the supermax prison. Abdulwali Muse (the Smiling Somali) is back in Terre Haute, and those who sent cards or letters to Adnan Mirza or Gregory Vernon Patterson last month may want to consider resending as they may have been in transit and have possibly not received mail.
The Supreme Court rejected the final appeal of the Holy Land Foundation Charity, a dismal but not unexpected decision for Shukri Abu Baker, Ghassan Elashi, Mohammad el-Mezain, Mufid Abdulqader, and Abdulrahman Odeh, serving a cumulative 180 year sentence for sending aid to Palestine.
There is a possibility that Wadih elHage (not listed) may have his life sentence commuted after lawyers present evidence from Fazul Abdullah Mohammed’s autobiography.
In the UK, Irfan Nasser, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali are undergoing trial for an alleged bomb plot for which they had been under surveillance since 2010.
It is feared that Mahdi Hashi is the latest victim of torture and detention by proxy or rendition after the Home Office mysteriously revoked his British citizenship following his refusal to become a government informant. Friends and family are demanding answers to his disappearance and evidence for the claims of “extremism” made by Home Office.
Courts in Canada have given the green light for the extradition of Sayfildin Tahir Sharif, an Iraqi born Canadian, to the US allegedly for connections to suicide bombings in Iraq.
As always, remember them and their families in your duas, and be sure to let us know of any returned mail, incorrect addresses, missing prisoners, or updates you would like to share.