Saturday, September 08, 2012

Climate of Fear

American Friends Service Committee and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee have joined suit against the U.S. Department of Treasury for violating the free speech rights of Muhammad Salah, a U.S. citizen. Due to Treasury's designation of Salah as a terrorist -- even though he has not been charged with any crime -- Salah and his wife have been unable to provide for themselves or their children. Indeed, for the last 17 years, it has been a crime for anyone to assist Salah with food, housing or medicine. Remarkably, it is even a crime for the plaintiffs to discuss with Salah his predicament.

Keeping in mind Salah is a U.S. citizen living in Illinois, the facts of his case are astounding. Without notice of charges or evidence or an opportunity to respond, Salah's assets were blocked indefinitely. He has never been served with a warrant, charged with criminal wrongdoing, or afforded a hearing. Since 1995, he has been unable to work, study, or engage in civic or religious activities that require spending money.

Under U.S. law, a law found unconstitutional by a U.S. District Court, this arbitrary punishment absent a crime can continue forever. In fact, Salah may never have the opportunity to plead his case before a judge and jury, as the current status of free speech in the US is subject to the whims of the administration in power.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, God. Oh, God.

5:49 PM  

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