[Ppnews] Muhammad Salah's Case of Torture

Political Prisoner News PPnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Mar 31 14:29:15 EST 2006

Friends, this is an amazing case which shows the extent to which the 
US and Israeli governments function together in promoting torture and 
the prosecution of a Palestinian (US citizen) to further a 
"terrorist" prosecution. The attached article is a must read to 
understand the depths to which torture is being used by both 
governments, Unfortunately, this case is neither an anomaly in the US 
or Israel. The Palestinian man, Muhammad Salah, was tortured by the 
Israelis in 1993 and now 13 years later the U.S. wants to use his 
alleged statements in a Rico prosecution accusing him of supporting 
Hamas- "a racketeering enterprise."

Much of the suppression hearing has taken place in a closed 
courtroom, barring the press and public and much of it has been 
secret even to the lawyers and the defendant with Israeli 
interrogators, lawyers  and U.S. prosecutors meeting secretly with the judge.

[This article is based on the research and suppression hearing 
preparation work of the Salah trial team and National Lawyers 
Guild  members Michael Deutsch, Erica Thompson, Robert Bloom and Ben 
Elson, and was written by PMCRLR Editorial Board member Flint Taylor.]

Some recent background is below.

March 3, 2006

Lack of due process in Muhammad Salah case undermines American 
Constitutional rights and civil liberties for all

(Chicago, IL 3/3/2006) - As a civil rights organization, our 
aspiration is to see every American granted his or her full rights 
under any and all circumstances. Mr. Muhammad Salah, an American 
citizen, is entitled to the right to a fair trial. This entails the 
right to public hearings. This right hangs in the balance, while 
several of his other rights have already been violated.

Closed hearings increase the potential of injustice administered in 
the courtroom and because the circumstances surrounding the charges 
against Mr. Salah indicate definite constitutional violations, it is 
imperative he be granted a fair and open hearing.

Mr. Salah's charge in the United States for involvement in terrorist 
activity should not be brought to trial in American courts if based 
primarily on the confession taken in Israel in 1993 under torture in 
a language he does not understand - Hebrew.

The 4th and 14th amendment of the United States constitution require 
that the consent acquired in the ascertainment of truth, or a 
confession, may not be accomplished through any form of coercion. The 
US Supreme Court has established that the slightest implication of 
coercion taints the "voluntariness" aspect of the defendant's 
statement and is therefore inadmissible as evidence against the 
accused. Dickerson v. United States 530 U.S. 428;

Lastly, The freezing of Mr. Salah's bank accounts violate his 14th 
amendment right because he did not have the opportunity to defend, 
the property was not forfeitable property. The freezing of his bank 
accounts puts an undue burden on his wife and children. By freezing 
Mr. Salah's accounts, the 14th amendment rights to life and liberty 
and denied to Mr. Salah's entire family.

The American people's interest is not to see a specific outcome for 
this trial, rather it is to see that it is a fair trial, and to be 
assured that every citizen's due process takes its full course in our 
courts of law.

CONTACT: Ahmed Rehab, Director of Communications; (847) 971-3963 
<mailto:communications at cairchicago.org>communications at cairchicago.org


An American citizen of Palestinian descent, Mr.  Muhammad Salah 
traveled from his home in Bridgeview, IL to Israel in 1993 to provide 
monetary assistance to Palestinian families. At the Gaza 
border-crossing, over twenty Israeli soldiers arrested and detained 
him. The Israeli Secret Service then systematically tortured him 
during an 80-day interrogation and forced Mr. Salah to sign a 
confession in Hebrew, a language that Mr. Salah does not understand. 
The Israeli Military Court sentenced him to five years in prison. 
After serving his sentence, he returned home to his family in the 
U.S. in 1997.

When he returned, the U.S. government had launched an investigation 
and had listed him on a list of Specially Designated Terrorists. Mr. 
Salah is the only U.S. Citizen to be placed on that list. As a result 
of this designation, all of the Salah family assets were frozen, and 
he was prohibited from receiving any goods or services from any U.S 
citizen not licensed to do so. Mr. Salah had to obtain permission 
from the Department of Treasury to get a job, to retain an attorney, 
to open a bank account, and to receive medical ca! re. As a result of 
these restrictions, his entire family suffered consequences and now 
lives in fear of eviction. Mr. Salah suffered these restrictions on 
his rights without being notified as to the reasons and without an 
opportunity to challenge his placement on the list.

Not until 2001 did the United States federal government re-launch a 
grand jury investigation into Mr. Salah's case. Then, in 2004, the 
U.S. charged Mr. Salah with aiding a terrorist organization based on 
the Hebrew confession, obtained through torture in 1993. He is 
scheduled to stand trial in the fall of 2006 in the United States 
District Court of the Northern District of Illinois. Mr. Salah~Rs 
lawyers moved to suppress the 1993 Hebrew confession as evidence. 
Starting on March 3, 2006, the court will hold hearings on whether to 
admit this confession as evidence. The court has closed to the public 
the portion of the hearing in which Mr. Salah's Israeli interrogators 
will testify as to their methods of interrogation. The closing of the 
hearing further violates Mr. Salah's Sixth Amendment Constitutional 
rights and the public's First Amendment right to a full public trial.

As residents of Bridgeview, Mr. Salah and his wife have long been 
active members in their community, where they have raised their five 
children. Two of whom are attending college on full scholarships. The 
Coalition to Protect People's Rights has united in order to raise 
public awareness about the United States government's violation of 
Mr. Muhammad Salah~Rs due process rights. The Coalition, which is 
comprised of civil rights groups, human rights groups, 
community-based organizations, and concerned individuals, advocates 
for the safeguarding of people's rights protected by the United 
States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 
Please join our Coalition in this effort to protect human rights and 
Mr. Muhammad Salah's right to a fair trial.

Thank you,

For more information contact 
<http://www.chicagomediaaction.org/cpprchicago@yahoo.com>cpprchicago at yahoo.com

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