[News] Targeted Muslim Doctor Convicted

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Mon Feb 14 11:33:16 EST 2005

[Rafil Dhafir, M.D. is a central (upstate) New York oncologist who
sought to help sick Iraqi children in the 1990s. Here is Madis
Senner's latest update, sent this afternoon:]

For Immediate Release
madis senner 315-463-5369 madis @twcny.rr.com

Rafil's Homepage:


Supporters Shocked and Surprised

Dr. Rafil Dhafir arrested on February 26, 2003, as a potential
terrorist (to read Ashcroft Statement
http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2003/February/03_crm_119.htm) was found
guilty on 59 of the 60 charges against him. When the terrorist
claims failed to materialize the government expanded its case to
include Medicare fraud and other charges. Dhafir was found guilty
of charity fraud, breaking the sanctions against Iraq and Medicare
fraud among other things.   He was only acquitted of charge 3 in a
60-count indictment that dealt with money laundering.

Dr. Dhafir is to be sentenced on June 20, 2005.

Dr. Dhafir is one of the only, if not the only, person to be arrested
for breaking the sanctions against Iraq. The only thing that
distinguished Dr.

Dhafir from the others that similarly defied the sanctions was his
Muslim faith.

In a pretrial motion Defense Attorney Devereaux Cannick asked that
the charges be dropped against Dr. Dhafir because he was being
selectively prosecuted (To read the motion

Because of this pretrial ruling the judge did not allow the defense
to raise the issue of selective prosecution and ask why Dr. Dhafir
was being targeted when countless other individuals had blatantly
and willfully defied the sanctions and were not charged. This has
been documented with testimony from those that similarly defied the
sanctions at:


In another pretrial ruling the Judge prevented the defense from
questioning why Dr. Dhafir had been arrested--so they could not
raise the issue of terrorism and the government's intent in arresting
Dr. Dhafir. Arguably this handicapped the defense.

Going into the trial there was a question as to whether in a post
9-11 environment the Dr. could find a fair jury. In an effort to
find an unbiased jury the court sent out a pretrial 44-page
questionnaire to prospective jurors. Some of the comments that came
back were very racist. To read more about the questionnaire go to:


One of the contentious issues of the trial had been the coverage
of the trial by the local paper, the Syracuse Post Standard. Several
supporters set up blogs to document what they saw as unfair and
prejudiced coverage. To access two of these blogs go to:

http://www.dhafirtrial.net/ http://dontsmeardhafir.blogspot.com/

Dr. Dhafir's supporters were shocked and surprised that he was
convicted of so many charges. Several that had attended the trial
on a regular basis questioned whether they had been sitting in the
same courtroom as the jury.

Others said that this was another sign that there are two systems
of justice in our country--one for rich and white folks, the other
for the poor, people of color and Muslims. Some saw deeper symbolism
and wondered what this verdict says of our country referring to a
recent Cornell study that found 44% of Americans would favor
restricting the civil liberties of Muslims in America (To read the
survey go to: http://www.comm.cornell.edu/msrg/report1a.pdf

The lawyers were going to meet with Dr. Dhafir to determine what
they were going to do next, if anything. I am hopeful that the
defense will move ahead with an appeal.

The one bright note of the Dhafir trial was the Dr. Dhafir was never
charged with terrorism--so he was never convicted of terrorism.
The sad thing is that he was not allowed to wipe this smear from
his name in court!

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