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political prisoners: urgent notices 2007 & 2008


as of:

may 9, 2008, on april 28th sami al-arian has suspended his hunger strike to survive; he has been moved to a porsmouth virginia facility and awaits deportation ("dr. al-arian suspends hunger strike after 8 weeks," april 29, 2008, free sami al-arian website).

may 3, 2008, sudan; on may 2nd sami al haj arrived in sudan, released from guantanamo by the u.s; he is now in a sudanese hospital; see guantanamo updates.

march 22, 2008, virginia: weakened by previous hunger strikes and hospitalization professor sami al-arian continues the hunger strike he started march 3rd; exonerated by a jury he is being held by the federal government to force his testimony; his life is at risk; see free sami al-arian.

february 5, 2008: guantanamo: medical emergency for abdul hamid-al-ghizzawi, a libyan detainee with no substantial evidence against him who is reported to have contracted at the camp first tuberculosis, then aids from a medical procedure; he is described as in pain by his lawyer, and there is no mention of appropriate medical care / isolation / procedures affecting detainee and military personnel.

january 17, 2008, guantanamo: no change in sami al haj's condition reported.

december 10, 2007, guantanamo: doctors have been unable to determine what has caused the blood in his urine (this is one medical symptom of severe beatings); sami al-haj is told he may have cancer or kidney problems ("lawyers: cameraman held at gitmo ill," ap,; there is no word that sami al-hajj has stopped his hunger strike; see previous postings.

october 14, 2007, guantanamo: sami al hajremains on hunger strike; doctors hiu richard (u.k.) and d. l. krison (u.s.) have stated that sami al haj's continued incarceration places his life in danger; according to his lawyer al haj was offered freedom in exchange for informing on al-jazeera, the network he worked for; he refused ("lawyer: al-jazeera cameraman's health deteriorates at guantanamo,"news alert 2007 oct. 10, 2007, committee to protect journalists; "sami al haj suffers health deterioration / say doctors," sept. 12, 2007, sudanese media center); these threats to freedom of expression call into question all journalists who aren't in prison; there's some evidence that alleged crimes against al haj are outrageous to the point that he won 't be able to testify against his torturers; he must be freed.

september 14, 2007: guantanamo: al-jazeera camerman sami al-haj, is considered 'close to death' from his hunger strike. 4 other illegally detained prisoners at guantanamo are officially noted as "suicides".

august 13, 2007, terre haute indiana: dr. rafil dhafir, currently serves a long sentence for his efforts to fund and send medical supplies to iraq; held in what was a religiously determined portion of the prison, the situation risks interpretation as experimentation or research on muslim prisoners; a letter from dr. dhafir to his support group ("update 8/11/07 - letter from rafil," aug.11, 2007, suggests prison medical services intentionally harm him; a diuretic prescribed for blood pressure raises his level of uric acid, causing extreme pain with a kind of gout; this and another condition are ignored - he says "they are playing with my life, literally"; he believes that so it is a torment; after unjust incarceration and a mindless sentence where dr.dhafir's rights were not protected, medical mistreatment seems a calculated and illegal way to further degrade and punish him for having a conscience; to note a policy of religious persecution in dr. dhafir's case follow the link at his name (above).

july 12, 2007 yukon: john graham; the john graham defense committee asks for letters to canada's chief justice at the supreme court, asking her to consider john graham's appeal; he shouldn't be extradited to the states; see july 10,; the letters are needed before july 26th, ie. immediately.

may 13, 2007, montreal: justice for adil has announced that while hassan almrei remains in prison he has found agreement with authorities to end his hunger strike as of late on friday, may 11th ("re. fw: re. hassan almrei," may 13, 2007,; "almrei calls halt to hunger strike," may 13, 2007, justice pour adil); my previous posting of early saturday a.m. stands corrected with the length of hassan almrei's fluids-only hunger strike, 155 days , - ed..

may 12, 2007, kingston immigration holding centre, ontario: the final imprisoned security certificate detainee of five, hassan almrei, remains in solitary confinement, the156th day of his fluids-only hunger strike; he is in a medical emergency as warned of january 9th, january 24th, and february 3rd (below); he is striking for his human dignity, protection from the guards and bearable conditions; he is under law an innocent ("guantanamo north staff warns hungerstrike may result in death," press release, may 7 11, 2007, solidarity across borders with thanks to justice for mohamed harkat).

may 11, 2007, toronto: lawyers for several of the accused are back in court questioning the extreme treatement of those detained as the ' toronto 18' ("terror suspects ask for prison conditions to be eased," melissa leong and darryl konynenbelt, may 7, 2007, national post; "lawyers decry terror suspects 'cruel' conditions," isabel teotonio, may 8, 2007, the toronto star); there's no further mention of the threats and previous incidents (see below); the national post does mention that mrs. ********[name temporarily withheld] has been able to provide sandwiches for "the eleven [sic.] accused (national post)"; although this case remains urgent in the sense that the detained have no trial date, remain in isolation, have been found guilty of no crime, and are subject to extreme psychological controls, subsequent related postings will be placed with other victims of the campaign at 'toronto 18'.

april 17, 2007, toronto: the wife and children of one of the accused "toronto 18," are receiving death threats while their husband/father remains in detention; in highly publicized "anti-terrorist arrests" 17 men and children from toronto were arrested by armed teams june 7, 2006; twelve remain held for trial at some unknown date, in solitary confinement; the eldest is ********[name temporarily withheld], 44; his wife, ********[name temporarily withheld] believes the threats against their family are the result of a media article which describes her as "very vocal" (april 3, 2007, toronto star) amid the media silence about the detained men's treatment at the maplehurst's detention centre, and quotes her saying the reason her husband and the others have been held in isolation for the past ten months is to pressure them into pleading guilty; her requests for better treatment led her to be banned from maplehurst detention centre for two weeks; the threats consist of bullets found lodged in the radiators of both family cars, discovered at recent attempts to visit her husband; other threats include being followed by "black government cars" and army personnel, and the army marching with gas masks in front of her young children's islamic school ("terror suspect's wife claims vandals won't intimidate her family," april 16, 2007, citynews, chum tv; "wife of terror suspect says she is target of harassment," jim wilkes, april 17, 2007, the toronto star; "terror suspect's wife ties vandalism to published remarks," timothy appleby, april 17, 2007,; "surviving an ordeal by isolation," michelle shephard & isabel teotonio, april 3, 2007, toronto star; "terror suspect's family targeted," torstar network, april 16, 2007, the mississauga news); since all canadians are the object of a neoconservative agenda it needs to be said that the "toronto 18" are innocent because they haven't been proven guilty; even the arrests appear to be for crimes not actually committed and no crime of violence has occurred; evidence against the detained is tainted by the huge sums of money paid government informants or provocateurs; the arrests may be part of what was initially a u.s. and international covert operation; particularly heavy and illegal pressure to cooperate with authorities is placed on a detainee when his wife and children's lives are being threatened; mrs. ********[name temporarily withheld] says she has asked for and was refused police protection (wilkes, april 17, 2007, toronto star); this is outrageous; it denies the accused his rights; it denies his wife and children their human rights; it subverts the course of justice; it damages the lives of very young children; it's embarrassing to canadians that this mother and her four young children are effectively being terrorized without recourse.

march 26, 2007, virginia: dr. sami al-arian suspended his water-only hunger strike, march 23, 2007, appearing in court to find his additional sentence upheld in an attempt to force his testimony about palestinian charities before a grand jury ("jailed professor's hunger strike over," larry o'dell, march 23, 2007,, via jurist); one of the "war on terror's" favorite targets in the u.s. is muslim charities, ie. see dr. rafil dhafir.

february 17, 2007: virginia: dr. sami al-arian, on hunger strike against being forced to give information, is now in the prison hospital.

february 16, 2007, kingston: mohammad mahjoub is ordered released to house arrest in toronto.

february 3, 2007, kingston / ottawa: "ndp citizenship and immigration critic" minister of parliament bill siksay has insisted the harper government work with the crisis at kingston; the government refuses to deal with the danger to the three detainess, or listen to their families, or the advice of 70 health professionals; siksay's attempt to table a motion in parliament that might provide a way to resolve the crisis was blocked by harper's conservatives ("ndp demands end to 71-day hunger strike," feb 2, 2007 [access: ""]; "terror suspects being left to die," canadian press, feb. 2, 2007, ottawa sun newspaper online); on february 2nd, while official people did their important business, about thirty people came together at 10:30 plus, on the parliament steps, holding signs reminding of freedom and asking why three men are pushed toward their deaths; aside from several nearby stalwarts the police stayed in their cars three hundred meters away over the snow as if they were already aware that the threat of terrorism comes from bad policy rather than protest; a medical alert remains for mohammad mahjoub, hassan almrei, mahmoud jaballah.

january 24, 2007, kingston, canada: the federal government won't negotiate their demands so mohammad mahjoub, hassan almrei, mahmoud jaballah, remain on hunger strike without medical monitoring; over sixty health professionals have signed a letter finding the men "at risk of severe hypotension or hypertension, renal failure, cardiac arrhythmia, heart failure and a variety of life-threatening disorders" ("[psi-news] update: health workers intervene in hungerstrikes at canada's guantanamo north," psi, jan. 23,2007, email list); for more information and whom to contact : justice for mohamed harkat at or justice for adil charkaoui at , or open letter at; medical alert.

january 9, 2007, canada: this news of the guantanamo north hunger strike relies on "open letter from gitmo north; hunger strike update," jan. 8, 2007, tasc email: mohammad mahjoub has fasted 45 days, mahmoud jaballah 34 days, hassan almrei 34 days; the men are medically at risk through previous hunger strikes, a risk increasing with the length of this hunger strike; additional medical conditions specified: mahjoub is in need of hepatitis medication and treatment for high blood pressure and is in occasionally intense pain; jaballah requires a double hernia operation; there has not been daily medical monitoring of the hunger strikers; there appears to be a refusal of adequate health care; the letter indicates a liquid diet but in general an inadequate response by the kingston immigration holding centre to the health of three men who have not been judged in a canadian court or found guilty of any crime; deprived of a voice the prisoners have asked the people of canada to appeal for justice; gerald and maas asks the government of canada to honour the principle of habeas corpus and extend an understanding of humanity to these three muslim detainees, and to honour canada's charter of rights, and with compassion to free the detainees to the care of their friends and families, while the legality and appropriateness of the imprisonment is settled in canadian courts.

        texas: prisoners on texas death row began a hunger strike on jan. 1, 2007 and have asked for solidarity from other prisoners; a previous strike brought some recognition (see prison activist resource center at and death row inner-communalist vanguard engagement,; increasingly the death penalty is regarded again as an uncivilized form of punishment implicating those who insist on its application; see the u.n. protocol aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.

the information on these pages is incomplete - please contact to suggest corrections.

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gerald and maas night's lantern
with appreciation to all sources, ed. & commentary by j.b.gerald, images j.maas
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update may 9, 2008