For more than a year, Law and Disorder has followed the case of Muhammad Salah and co-defendant Abdelhaleem Ashqar. In a major victory both were recently acquitted on charges that they engaged in a “racketeering conspiracy” to provide support to the Palestinian organization Hamas in the early 90s. The two were convicted of several lesser charges unrelated to terrorism. Salah says his confession to Israeli Security agents was false and the end product of 53 days in custody, during which Salah’s lawyers say he was tortured. He was kept awake, beaten and forced to sit in excruciating positions for long periods of time.
Guest – Michael Deutsch from the People’s Law Office in Detroit. Mr. Deutsch says this verdict is a significant breakthrough in that the jurors were not swayed by government attempts to apply the terrorism label without adequate evidence.
Former Panthers Arrested on 30-Year-Old Charges
Coerced confessions based on torture are at the center of many cases discussed on this program. From French revolutionary Henri Alleg to the recent victory in the Muhammad Salah case in Chicago. Black Panthers were no exception, in the early seventies eight former Black Panthers were arrested in California, New York and Florida on charges related to the 1971 killing of a San Francisco police officer. Two men charged have been held as political prisoners for over 30 years– Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim are both in New York State prisons. But a judge tossed out the charges, finding that Taylor and his two co-defendants made confessions after police in New Orleans tortured them for several days employing electric shock, cattle prods, beatings, sensory deprivation, plastic bags and hot, wet blankets for asphyxiation.
Guest – attorney Bob Bloom speaks on new developments in the case.
To hear the voices of Harold Taylor, John Bowman and Hank Jones describe how they were tortured visit the Listening Library and scroll down here the event from March 2006 at the Riverside Church sponsored by the Center for Constitutional Rights.
US Government Not Allowing Families of Cuban Five Prisoners Visitation
Amnesty International calls for temporary visas to be granted to two wives of the ‘Cuban Five’
In the past month several legal developments have occurred in the case of the Cuban Five. In January the defense argued four key issues in a supplement brief. Those issues are: first, the conspiracy to commit murder charge should be discharged; second, the conspiracy to espionage should be reversed for insufficiency of evidence; third, the sentencing on the espionage charges were grossly out of line with existing law; and forth, the prosecution committed misconduct. Finally application of the Classified Information Procedures Act provisions was wrong in this case. Here’s the situation: If the two judges can’t agree, the chief judge of the 11th Circuit appoints a third judge to join in the decision-making. You must have two judges in agreement in order to have a valid decision by the appellate court. If the two judges agree, however, that’s the end of it. For more information visit They Will Return.
Guest – Leonard Weinglass, lawyer for Antonio Guerrero, to talk about yet an additional aspect that has plagued the case since the five were incarcerated: the US government’s failure to allow families to visit the Five.
Jimmy Carter’s Recent Book – Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid – Drawing Criticism
With the release of former President Jimmy Carter’s new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, controversy has arisen about the use of the word “apartheid” to describe the occupied Palestinian territories. The contention is that Carter begins with the premise, “inside Israel there is equality while in the occupied Palestinian territories there is not.”
Guest – Jamil Dakwar, a former senior attorney with Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.
Just as the US and Europe once opposed apartheid in South Africa, Israel’s discrimination against Palestinians must be similarly exposed and dismantled. Read Jamil Dakwar’s commentary It’s Simple Apartheid.