- Earlier articles addressed them, accessed through the
- Pakistani Canadians Mahboob Khawaja, his son Momin, and
family were wrongfully targeted for alleged involvement in terrorism. Mahboob
is an "academic specializing in Strategic Studies with special interests
in Western-Islamic Civilizations, Change and Conflict Resolution."
- While working in Saudi Arabia, dozens of Royal Canadian
Mounted police arrested his family at gunpoint in Ottawa. They blew open
his door, then searched his home lawlessly with no warrant and found nothing.
At the same time, Mahboob was arrested in Saudi Arabia, jailed for two
weeks, then released. The affair ruined his academic career as a professor
of global politics, and Momin's as a software developer and free man.
- In March 2004, he was bogusly accused of a UK bomb plot,
becoming the first person charged under Canada's 2001 Anti-Terrorism Act.
Though acquitted on that charge, he was held without trial for over four
years, then convicted on October 29, 2008, and sentenced on March 12, 2009,
after a bench trial, to ten and a half years (above time already served)
- -- donating $859 to an Afghan refugee charity; in fact,
he gave $25;
- -- making a device, readily available at retail, to jam
cell phone signals and emails, specifically ones relating to Western imperialism;
- -- providing material support to Afghan resistance fighters,
called terrorists; and
- -- attending an unknown camp during a Pakistan visit.
- Appealing before Ontario's Higher Court from May 18 -
20, 2010, prosecutors restated all trial court charges, including the bogus
UK bomb plot. The Lawrence Greenspon-led defense team argued for acquittal
on time served.
- On December 17, Momin was sentenced to life plus 24 years
to be served concurrently, though innocent of all charges. The harsh Appeals
Court ruling stressed "the unique nature of terrorism-related offenses,"
though none whatsoever were committed.
- Based largely on thought crime emails, the sentence was
politically motivated. Not a shred of evidence justified it. It's the wrong
time to be Muslim in Canada and America, with prosecutorial injustice in
both countries engineered to convict, regardless of innocence. A Supreme
Court appeal is planned, but given Canada's climate of fear and jihad against
Islam, victims like Momin stand little chance for justice.
- On December 20, Richard Fidler's article headlined "Canadian
courts embrace the 'war on terror,' " said:
- A three-panel hanging Appeals Court wrongfully punished
Momin for his alleged attacks on "Western culture and civilization,"
what he never did, in fact, or imagined. Yet his life now irrevocably has
changed. Minimally, he faces another 10 years in prison before eligibility
for parole. Waging war on Islam, Canadian courts rush to convict, replicating
the same American injustices. Indeed, it's the wrong time in both countries
to be Muslim.
- Oscar Lopez Rivera - Wrongfully Imprisoned for Supporting
Puerto Rican Independence
- Longtime Chicago area organizer, activist, and campaigner
for Puerto Rican independence, the FBI arrested him in 1981, calling him
an alleged Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN) leader. Though Rivera
neither confirms or denies it, Puerto Rico has been colonized for over
112 years. Freedom fighters like FALN members seek independence, a right
international law and annual UN resolutions affirm but not Washington,
the repressive occupying power.
- In 1981, Rivera was convicted of armed robbery, miscellaneous
charges, and seditious conspiracy - sedition pertaining to actions to incite
insurrection or rebellion; conspiracy by working with others to achieve
- Initially sentenced to 55 years, 15 more were added in
1988, based on spurious charges of participating in an escape conspiracy,
the new sentence to begin when the original one ends.
- In 1999, the Clinton administration offered him and 11
other Puerto Rican nationalists clemency. He declined, saying it required
him to serve 10 more years with good conduct. Had he accepted, he'd be
free. His sister, Zenaida Lopez, said he refused because on parole, he'd
be in "prison outside prison."
- On January 5, a US Parole Commission recommended he remain
in prison until his mandatory 2023 release date or serve another 15 years
before parole reconsideration, whichever comes first.
- The entire hearing process was engineered to deny. Rivera
attended handcuffed to a chain around his waist despite his attorney's
objections. Eight Bureau of Prisons staff guarded him, though he posed
no flight risk. Testimonies of four 1975 New York explosion victims were
introduced, a crime unrelated to Rivera's conviction. The Puerto Rico Bar
Association's observer status petition was denied by non-response.
- A seven-page Chicago US Attorney Patrick Firzgerald political
diatribe against Rivera was introduced, listing unrelated acts and unsupported
- Defense attorney Jan Susler argued that he met the criteria
for release, has been a model prisoner, and was never accused of any rules
violations. Moreover, that his release would not lesson the seriousness
of charges (true or false) or promote disrespect for the law, and that
a freed Rivera wouldn't jeopardize public welfare.
- In addition, she stressed the Clinton administration's
determination that his sentence was disproportionately long, that he was
offered clemency, and that released political prisoners become productive,
fully integrated citizens. No matter. He was denied.
- Days before his hearing, right-wing opponents, in fact,
flooded the media with lies and innuendos and barraged the Commission with
anti-Rivera phone calls. However, when his supporters called, they reached
no one. Clearly, the fix was in to reject him on political grounds to keep
an effective public voice silenced.
- The National Boricua Human Rights Network (NBHRN) continues
working for his release through petitions, phone messages, elected officials,
religious and community leaders, and enlisting other activist supporters
for justice. He was wrongfully incarcerated in the first place, victimized
like hundreds of other political prisoners, many thousands, including undocumented
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the
Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays
at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs
are archived for easy listening.