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New Charges Against Guantanamo Chaplain

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  • ummyakoub
    JAMES YEE S SUPPORTERS: WE RE RELIEVED, OUTRAGED Pueng Vongs, Pacific News Service, 11/26/03 http://news.pacificnews.org/news/view_article.html?
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 9, 2003
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      JAMES YEE'S SUPPORTERS: WE'RE RELIEVED, OUTRAGED
      Pueng Vongs, Pacific News Service, 11/26/03
      http://news.pacificnews.org/news/view_article.html?
      article_id=868db9fa70f7049008926a7bc03acc52


      Editor's Note: Captain James Yee, the Army chaplain at Guantanamo
      Bay, was freed after spending almost 3 months in military prison on
      espionage charges. But his release is bittersweet to his family and
      supporters. Yee is now charged with downloading pornography and
      adultery, charges many say are outrageous and false.

      Joyful relatives and friends of Capt. James Yousef Yee, the former
      Army chaplain at Guantanamo Bay who was accused of espionage,
      welcomed his release after nearly three months in military prison,
      but they lashed out at authorities for bringing new charges of
      adultery and downloading pornography on a government-issued computer.

      Deeply suspicious, Yee's supporters describe the new charges as an
      attempt by the government to discredit the captain and cover up its
      failure to produce a credible case against him. Yee was accused last
      October of disobeying orders and stealing classified information on
      behalf of suspected members of al Qaeda and Taliban he counseled in
      the Guantanamo base prison…

      SEE ALSO:

      MUSLIM CHAPLAIN LET OUT OF PRISON, FACES NEW CHARGES
      Ray Rivera and Janet I. Tu, Seattle Times, 11/26/03
      http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2001801237_yee26m.html


      An Army Muslim chaplain accused of mishandling classified documents
      while serving at the U.S. prison camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, was
      charged yesterday with making a false official statement, committing
      adultery and storing pornography on his government computer.

      The additional charges came on the same day Capt. James Yee was
      released from a naval brig in South Carolina, where he had been held
      since his arrest almost three months ago. An Army spokesman said the
      commander determined there was "no reason to hold him."

      Yee's defense team characterized the new charges as an attempt by the
      military to salvage a deteriorating case against the chaplain,
      formerly stationed at Fort Lewis.

      "I don't know why the government would pursue these charges, except
      for the fact that it's embarrassed by the implosion of charges it
      originally asserted against my client," said Eugene Fidell, his lead
      attorney…

      "This is so ludicrous," said Ibrahim Mohamed, board chairman of the
      Seattle chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which
      recently launched a campaign on behalf of Yee. "This is totally out
      of character for a Muslim chaplain, a person who's dedicated his life
      to teaching others about Islam. I hope this is not out of
      desperation, that they're hoping to have anything that will stick…"

      ---------------------------------------------------
      MOTIVE FOR NEW CHARGES AGAINST MUSLIM CHAPLAIN QUESTIONED

      (SEATTLE, WA, 11/25/03) - The Seattle chapter of the Council on
      American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Seattle) tonight applauded the
      release of Capt. James Yee pending trial, but questioned the
      government's motives in bringing new charges that appear designed to
      harm his reputation among supporters.

      Yee, the former Muslim chaplain in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, was charged
      Tuesday with adultery and storing pornography on a government
      computer. He was detained in September and later charged with
      mishandling classified documents in a case that initially portrayed
      him as engaging in espionage.

      Huda Sobuh, Captain Yee's wife, told CAIR-Seattle: "I believe
      emphatically that my husband is innocent of all these charges. I
      stand by him. It is clear to me the U.S. government only wants to
      destroy his reputation and his family. They will not succeed."

      "These new allegations, including as they do serious violations of
      Islamic moral principles, have the odor of a smear campaign about
      them," said Ibrahim Mohamed, CAIR-Seattle chairman. "A cynical person
      might question the government's motivation for bringing these charges
      after having failed to back up earlier leaks pointing to espionage
      and support for terrorism."

      "To bring adultery into a case that began with public allegations of
      aiding the enemy is really outrageous, and the type of thing that can
      give military justice a bad name," said Eugene Fidell, Yee's civilian
      attorney. Fidell had asked President Bush to release Yee for the Eid
      ul-Fitr holiday, which began Tuesday in most parts of the Muslim
      world, marking the end of Ramadan.

      CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is
      headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 25 regional offices and
      chapters nationwide and in Canada.

      - END -

      CONTACT: CAIR-Seattle, Samia El-Moslimany, 206-409-3407, E-MAIL:
      samia@...; CAIR-National, Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787
      or 202-744-7726, E-MAIL: cair@...

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