[secret_evidence] Mazen Al-Najjar To Be Released on Bail
TAMPA BAY COALITION FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE
Contact Person: Dr. Sami A. Al-Arian, Chairman (813) 679-8282
GOD IS GREAT
SECRET EVIDENCE DETAINEE TO BE RELEASED On BAIL Palestinian Held for
Over Three Years
Tampa- December 6, 2000: After 1301 days in detention on secret
evidence and without any charges, an immigration judge in Bradenton,
Florida today ordered the release on bond of Mazen Al Najjar, a
Palestinian held for over three and one-half years as a national
security threat on the basis of secret evidence that neither he nor
his lawyers ever had a chance to see. Judge R. Kevin McHugh ordered Al
Najjar released on $8,000 bond.
In 1997, the same judge ruled, based on secret evidence presented to
him behind closed doors by the Immigration and Naturalization Service
(INS), that Al Najjar posed a threat to national security, and should
be detained without bond. At the time, Al Najjar was told only that
the evidence showed that he was associated with the Palestinian
In May 2000, a federal judge in Miami (Joan Lenard) ruled that
detaining Al Najjar on secret evidence violated his due process
rights. She did not order his release, however, and instead remanded
the matter to the Immigration Judge to permit the INS another chance
-- in a fair hearing -- to show that Al Najjar should continue to be
detained as a national security threat.
The immigration judge ruled in October 2000 that the INS had failed in
a ten-day public hearing to show that Al Najjar posed any threat to
national security. But the INS then proceeded to present secret
evidence again, behind closed doors, and without the presence of Al
Najjar or his attorneys. Judge Lenard had left open the possibility
that the INS could present secret evidence, but only if it could do so
in a way that give Al Najjar notice of the evidence against him and a
meaningful opportunity to confront it. Judge McHugh ruled today that
the government's unclassified summary failed to meet Judge Lenard's
standard, and therefore he declined to consider the government's
David Cole, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center and Al
Najjar's lead counsel, said, "We are delighted and relieved. Mazen Al
Najjar has spent over three years behind bars, despite having never
been charged with a single crime, on the basis of secret evidence he
has never seen. This is only the latest in an unbroken string of
defeats for the INS in cases where it has sought to lock up immigrants
on the basis of secret evidence, and it illustrates, once again, that
the INS's practice cannot be squared with due process."
Sami Al-Arian, the chairman of the coalition said, "we thank God for
this great gift during the holy month. The truth has finally come out.
Our community is very happy that Mazen will celebrate Ramadan with his
family and children after more than 43 months in detention. Although
secret evidence is shameful, this is a tribute to the greatness of the
American judicial system."
The Tampa Bay Coalition for Justice and Peace expresses its gratitude
and heart-felt thanks to the great legal team led by Professor David
Cole and the other counsels for Al Najjar that included Martin
Schwartz of Tampa, Florida, Joe Hohenstein of the Nationalities
Service Center in Philadelphia, Nancy Chang of the Center for
Constititutional Rigths, Randall Marshall of the ACLU of Florida, and
Ira Kurzban of Miami.
In addition, our coalition is thankful to the the Honorable
Congressmen David Bonior (D-MI) and Tom Campbell (R-CA), the National
Coaliltion to Protect Political Freedom, the Hillsborough Organization
for Progress and Equality (HOPE), the National and Florida ACLU, the
countless organizations, community members, supporters, sympathizers,
politicians, journalists, editorial writers, columnists, and thousands
of concerned citizens around the nation and the world. God bless them
TELL A FRIEND TO JOIN THE CAMPAIGN TO RESTORE DUE PROCESS TO THE AMERICAN SYSTEM OF JUSTICE
To Subscribe, send a blank message to: secret_evidence-subscribe@...
To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: secret_evidence-unsubscribe@...
For more info on the history of secret evidence, visit http://www.alif.com
ININ List Archives Found Here: http://www.egroups.com/messages/inin
To subscribe to ININ please e-mail majordomo@...
In the body of the message type in: "subscribe inin-net" (without the
To unsubscribe from ININ please e-mail majordomo@...
In the body of the message type in: "unsubscribe inin-net" (without the
CANADA'S ONLINE ISLAMIC BOOKSTORE: HTTP://WWW.ISLAMICBOOKSCANADA.COM
ISLAMIC NEWS AND INFORMATION NETWORK: HTTP://WWW.ININ.NET