[Ppnews] Support Hanif Shabazz Bey

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sat Aug 12 18:39:01 EDT 2006


NYC Jericho Movement <nycjericho at riseup.net> wrote:

Hanif and his comrades were notified by a team of attorneys from the
islands that they were putting together a campaign for clemency. The
outgoing governor has made it public that he will grant clemency to
prisoners before his departure in Novemeber. Hanif and the attorneys
believe, with enough public support, that they have a chance at clemency
from Governor Turnbull. Please address all letters of support for clemency
to:

Governor Charles Turnbull
Office of the Governor
21-22 Kongens Road
St. Thomas, US V.I 00802


Write to Hanif:
Hanif Shabazz Bey
(B. Gereau) # 295933
Wallensridge State Prison
P.O Box 759
Big Stone Gap, VA 24219

Virgin Island Five (aka Fountain Valley Five)

"Virgin Island Five" are a group of activists accused of murdering eight
people in
the U.S. Virgin Islands. The murders took place during a turbulent period of
rebellion on the Islands. During the 1970's, as with much of the world, a
movement
to resist colonial rule began to grow in the U.S. occupied Virgin Islands.

>From 1971 to 1973, there was a small scale Mau Mau rebellion taking place
on the
islands. This activity was downplayed by the media, for fear it would
damage the
tourist industry, which the island's survival depends on. Then on
September 6th,
1972, eight American tourists were gunned down at the Rockefeller-owned
golf course
on the island of St.Croix. Quickly the colonial authorities picked up over
one
hundred blacks for interrogations, and the U.S. colonial troops carried
out a series
of repressive acts of violence against the black community. The F.B.I. and
the
United States Army troops led a 300-man invasion force into the islands
and used
strong-arm tactics to conduct house to house searches of the low income
areas.

The island was put under virtual martial law, and eventually five men,
Ismail Ali,
Warren (Aziz) Ballantine, Meral (Malik) Smith, Raphael (Kwesi) Joseph, and
Hanif
Shabazz Bey were apprehended and then charged with the attack.

All the men were known supporters of the Virgin Island independence movement.

The five were charged after being subjected to vicious torture in order to
extract
confessions. They were beaten, hung from their feet and necks from trees,
subject to
electric shocks with "cattle prods", had plastic bags tied over their
heads and had
water forced up their noses by the "defenders of the law." The judge
(Warren Young)
overlooking the case prior to being placed on the federal bench worked as
Rockefeller's private attorney and and even handled legal matters for the
Fountain
Valley Golf Course.

Eventually, the five went to trial in what became known as the "Fountain
Valley"
murder trial. This was an obvious Kangaroo Court and a mockery of any
sense of a
fair trial. On August 13, 1973, each of the five men were convicted and
sentenced to
eight(8) consecutive life terms. A look at the incredible conduct of the
trial will
tell anyone why:

-- The court refused to excuse juror member Laura Torres, former wife of
detective
Jorge Torres, one of the arresting officers.
-- Nine jurors testified that during the deliberations they were
threatened with
F.B.I. investigations on themselves and members of their families, and
also threats
of prosecution.
-- The jury deliberated for nine days, and told the judge that they were
"hopelessly
deadlocked", yet he still refused to dismiss them and call a mistrial,
which worked
to compel a guilty verdict.
-- Four jurors, including the jury foreman, signed statements that they
had been
forced into a guilty verdict by the judge, police, and F.B.I.. One juror
whose
daughter was charged with bank robbery several years before, was told that
those
charges could be brought up again if she did not find the accused guilty.
-- The court refused to throw out the "fake confessions", even after it
was proven
that they were obtained through torture.
-- Even the Assistant District Attorney Joel Sacks and several police
officers
testified and admitted that they knew the defendants had been tortured,
and that the
"confessions" extracted had been obtained by such methods.

Today, Warren (Aziz) Ballantine, Meral (Malik) Smith, and Hanif Shabazz Bey
are all confined in federal prisons. Ismail Ali was liberated to Cuba via an
airplane hijacking in 1984. Raphael (Kwesi) Joseph was granted a pardon by
the V.I.
governor in 1992. Six years later Kwesi was mysteriously found dead of
poison-laced
drug overdose, after it was said that he was about to reveal evidence that
would
have exonerated at least one more defendant.



-- 
Free All Political Prisoners!
nycjericho at riseup.net • www.jerichony.org


Claude Marks
Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977






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