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Greens For Palestinian Return

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    NADER URGES ACTION ON CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AGAINST MUSLIM AMERICANS The Nader Campaign urges the Department of Justice to take action regarding civil rights
    Message 1 of 1 , May 5, 2004

      The Nader Campaign urges the Department of Justice to take action
      regarding civil rights violations against Muslim and Arab Americans

      According to a report released on March 3 by the Council on American-
      Islamic Relations, "The Status of Muslim Civil Rights in the United
      States 2004," Muslims in the United States experienced more than
      1,000 incidents of asserted harassment, violence and discriminatory
      treatment in 2003, a jump of 70 percent over the previous year,
      according to a report released by a major Islamic advocacy group.

      The report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations attributed
      the increase to such factors as unrebutted, off-the-wall Muslim-
      bashing on radio talk shows and tensions surrounding the war in Iraq.
      The group said it received 1,019 complaints from Muslims last year
      concerning discriminatory or violent actions, up from 602 the year
      before. The biggest number of incidents had to do with employment and
      the refusal to accommodate religious practices. But there were 93
      reported hate crimes (i.e., incidents of anti-Muslim violence), more
      than double the total in 2002. And there were numerous cases in which
      Muslims alleged that laws were applied to them more harshly because
      of their ethnic or religious identity.

      The report also noted that the implementation of the USA PATRIOT Act
      has been associated with abuses. The report points to a number of
      questionable national security policies including:

      - The rounding up of Muslim Americans and Arab Americans and
      residents by the government that blurred the clear distinction
      between immigration cases and terrorism investigations. CAIR cites a
      report by the Office of Inspector General of the Justice Department
      which found that between September 11, 2001 and August 2002 the
      government arrested 738 Muslims and Arabs whose entry visas had
      expired. In doing so they interfered with their access to lawyers,
      blocked access by family members and even denied them the
      constitutional right of obtaining information on charges against
      them. The Justice Department's own Office of Inspector General also
      reported that many were held in inhumane conditions including being
      contained in jail cells for 23 hours a day, taunting of prisoners and
      slamming prisoners against walls. Security tapes of the Bureau of
      Prisons show 308 incidents of physical abuse by staff of federal
      prisons. None of these hundreds of detainees were found to have links
      to terrorism.

      - The singling out of Muslim visitors and immigrants by requiring
      them to report to government offices to be fingerprinted,
      photographed and assigned a registration number or be deported.
      Thirteen thousand of the people who complied were still subject to
      deportation for violation of minor immigration regulations.

      - The CAIR report points to widespread incidents of prosecutorial and
      law enforcement bias against Muslims. Violations of local ordinances
      for minor offenses like failure to cut lawn, or leaving garbage cans
      outside have increased as have discretionary criminal prosecutions.

      - Enforcement of the PATRIOT Act has also led to harassment by banks
      and financial institutions. People with Muslim or Arab names are
      being arbitrarily requested to provide detailed documentation of
      their identities as well as financial and tax records.

      The Ralph Nader Campaign urges:

      - Passage of the End Racial Profiling Act, championed by Congressman
      John Conyers, Jr. in the House and Senator Russell Feingold in the
      Senate, that would dissuade law enforcement from engaging in
      profiling by requiring collection of race data, and providing legal
      options to victims of racial profiling.

      - The Department of Justice to implement regulatory and procedural
      reforms suggested by its own Office of Inspector General designed to
      restore constitutional protections in government investigations and
      handling of detainees.

      - Congressional hearings on post 9-11 rules and procedures enacted by
      the Bush Administration in order to examine their impact on security
      and civil liberties.

      - Oppose the extension of provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act that are
      set to expire in 2005.

      - Reinstate the policy of the United States Federal Communications
      Commission that became known as the "Fairness Doctrine" ­ an attempt
      to ensure that coverage of controversial public issues by a broadcast
      station be balanced and fair. In the spring of 1987, both houses of
      Congress voted to put the Fairness Doctrine into law but President
      Ronald Reagan vetoed the legislation.

      Greens For Palestinian Right of Return

      Leaders of the Green Party of the United States strongly criticized
      President Bush and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry
      (D.-Mass.) for their identical positions in support of Israel's
      policy of assassination, maintenance of illegal settlements on the
      West Bank (a reversal of earlier policy), and denial of the right of
      return for Palestinians.

      "The Green Party and its candidates have called for Israel to adhere
      to international law and U.N. directives and to dismantle the
      settlements in the Palestinian territories, and for the right of
      Palestinian refuges to return home," said Ben Manski, co-chair of the
      Green Party of the United States. An American Jew who grew up in
      Israel, Manski received and rejected an IDF draft notice when he
      turned 18. "We support efforts toward nonviolent resolution of the
      crisis by Israelis and Palestinians who are dedicated to peace and
      universal human rights, without which we'll never see security for
      either Israelis or Palestinians. These efforts have been eclipsed by
      the unrelenting state violence committed by the Israeli military on
      orders from the Sharon government, and by a small minority of
      desperate Palestinians -- and now by explicit support from the Bush
      Administration, under policies apparently dictated by Sharon."

      Greens called the plan backed by President Bush, Prime Minister
      Sharon, and Sen. Kerry (Meet the Press, Sunday, April 18) that allows
      Israel to keep and continue to settle on land seized in the 1967 war
      a disastrous setback to efforts for peace.

      "We were especially aghast that Sen. Kerry supported the
      assassination of Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi, which Greens called
      a summary and extra-judicial execution," said Julia Willebrand, co-
      chair of the Green Party's International Committee.

      The rejection of the Palestinian right of return by Bush, Sharon, and
      now Kerry comes on the heels of a landmark 'Right of Return and Just
      Peace Conference' held in Haifa, Israel at the end of March, at which
      over 300 Jewish and Palestinian Israeli citizens gathered for the
      first time to refute the claim that unconditional support among
      Israelis for the right of
      Palestinian refugees to return does not exist. Israeli historian
      Ilan Pappe, in the final declaration of the 'Haifa Initiative',
      stated that, "What the hundreds of people attending the conference
      showed was that a growing number of Jews and Palestinians in Israel
      regard the implementation of the Palestinian right of return as the
      only road to a lasting peace and reconciliation."

      "The Green Party continues to support the right of Palestinians to
      return to their homes, and regards it as at the heart of the
      conflict," says Charles Shaw, media coordinator for the Illinois
      Green Party. "Similarly, Israel must return to its pre-1967 borders
      as the opener to any peace negotiations. These are significant
      differences between our position and that of the Democrats and
      Republicans. John Kerry's views are becoming indistinguishable from
      those of George W. Bush."

      The Green Party of the United States
      1700 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 404
      Washington, DC 20009.
      202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
      Fax 202-319-7193

      Forward! 2004: Green Party Presidential Nomination Convention &
      Candidates http://www.gp.org/convention/process.html
      Media credentialing for the convention http://www.gp.org/forms/media/



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