Amer Jubran Trial
- Amer Jubran Trial
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WORKING CLASS PUERTO RICAN WOMAN STANDS UP TO THE U.S. GOVERNMENT
U.S. Government Attempts to Railroad Palestinian Activist
No Evidence Supporting Its Claims, Government Drags Its Feet and
Continues Attack on Palestinian Activist
With hundreds of demonstrators outside and the hallway leading to
the court room packed with supporters, an INS Judge began the
removal hearing of Palestinian activist Amer Jubran on Thursday, July
The INS prosecutor Rick Neville appeared 10 minutes late and
continued to employ delaying tactics to insure that the hearing was
not concluded that afternoon. The INS Judge allowed endless
questioning of Amer's ex-wife by the prosecution even though the
judge found many of the questions were not relevant and would
probably not have any bearing on the sole question of whether Amer's
previous marriage was valid. Taking the position that "we'll
see where this leads" and "allowing both sides to develop their
case", the Judge's refusal to conduct the hearing in a timely and
orderly fashion allowed the prosecutor to ask not only embarrassing
questions of Amer's ex-wife, but also questions that were solely of a
political nature: what were Amer's political views, what political
discussions did Amer have with his ex-in-laws, did Amer ever leave
the country during your marriage. The prosecution merely withdrew
the most outrageous questions when Amer's attorney objected.
Similarly egregious, the prosecution presented to the Judge a
report filed by an FBI agent after questioning of Amer's ex last
November. Neither a copy of this report nor its contents had been
previously revealed to Nelson Brill, Amer's attorney, prior to July
24th even though he had formally requested copies of all reports.
Moreover, the Judge had required each side to submit witness lists
and all evidence/exhibits to the court no later than June 24, 2003.
Again, the Judge failed to apply his own rules and allowed the late
submission of the report to the potential detriment of Amer's ability
to defend against false accusations.
Moreover, the Judge did not fairly implement his declaration of
wanting to give both sides ample leeway to develop their cases.
Rather, the Judge cut short Amer's counsel questions regarding
INS/FBI harassment of other family members, cautioned counsel to be
very careful before lodging charges of intimidation and obstruction
of justice against the U.S. government and opened the hearing
declaring that no one in "this" country should be afraid to come to
court to testify.
One conclusion to be reached from the day's hearing is that
the "fist inside the velvet glove" of the facade of democracy and due
process in this country appeared in the form of a kindly, soft-
spoken, gray haired judge. Although a sharp conclusion, it is
supported by the fact that the Judge was aware and stated in court
that if the hearing did not conclude that afternoon his next
available date for the rest of the hearing might not be until
September of 2004! The insensitivity of the Judge to the pressures
and limitations the pendency of this case puts upon Amer, his family
and friends was startling. To our great relief, as of this writing,
the Court has continued Amer's hearing until Thursday, September
25th, 2003. This still is too long of a delay, but is better than
waiting 14 months.
The most encouraging aspect of Thursday's hearing was the
courageous appearance of Amer's ex-wife. Defying FBI/INS very recent
intimidation of her sisters and parents, putting aside her family's
fearful requests that she not appear, she not only appeared in court
but withstood two plus hours of cross-examination by the INS
attorney. The dignity and composure of this working class Puerto
Rican woman directly in the face of the U.S. government was truly
inspirational. She never wavered from the truth that she and Amer
married out of love and divorced due to financial pressures that face
so many young couples in this heartless capitalist system.
To give the Judge credit, he also concluded that Amer's ex-wife
was a good and credible witness. The Judge related to Amer's ex-
wife's financial situation when he cutoff part of the prosecution's
questions regarding her financial status and remarked that "There
are people who just don't have telephones."
The Judge also stated that he had heard cases like this before and a
witness' inability to recall details from five years earlier did not
necessarily concern him. He also noted that it was not unusual for
couples to mistake a marriage license for a marriage certificate. At
the conclusion of the day the Judge even invited Amer into his
chambers for an off the record discussion with the attorneys. The
Judge's unexpected show of respect for Amer took the prosecution by
surprise and apparently made them quite uncomfortable. The Judge
suggested that he had heard enough and that he was prepared to
rule that Amer's marriage was valid and to dismiss the charge. It was
the prosecution that insisted upon additional hearing time and
continued political harassment of Amer.
Unfortunately this case is not unique. Courts are often
incredibly insensitive to the impact a court proceeding has of the
lives of people in front of them. Court are more often than not more
than generous to the Government's abuse of the court system and the
system's own rules. Attorneys often resort to employing delay tactics
in their court strategy. "Justice delayed is justice denied" is not
only an admonition but also often the game plan.
However, the most significant "game plan" employed by the U.S.
government is to attempt to silence dissent and intimidate those who
dare to speak out for Palestine and speak out against injustice. The
government's attack on Arab and Muslims is an absolute ploy to divert
attention away from the real "trained killers" within the ranks of
the U.S. ruling class, its client/puppet states and its paid
mercenaries. The more effective the voice of dissent, the more
relentless the government's attack.
Amer is a strong, clear voice for justice. Whether we are in the
chorus, singing a duet, studying the sheet music or sitting back and
enjoying the song, the music of resistance continues and will not be
silenced. Long live the Intifada!
For another article on the court the hearing:
Report on the July 24 Deportation Hearing of Palestinian Activist
Amer Jubran By Les Blough, Editor, Axis of Logic
For more information from the Amer Jubran Defense Committee and for
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