Free Shifa
TAKE ACTION: Show Your Love and Justice for Shifa! PDF Print E-mail

 April 17 will mark the 7 year anniversary of unjust imprisonment of Shifa Sadequee.  Shifa is currently serving his 17-year sentence in a “secret” US political prison (Terre Haute, IN) for crimes he did not commit.  In April 2006, the FBI commanded the Bangladeshi military to kidnap Shifa 12 days after his wedding and held him captive in an undisclosed location.  He went missing in action for days and brought back to New York City in a “secret” CIA rendition aircraft.  

 A US citizen by birth, Shifa was tortured in pre-trial solitary confinement for over 1,300 days and subjected to prison violence in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary.  The US targeted Shifa for translating and publishing ancient Arabic-Islamic scholarly writings, working on a website and speaking out against American violence abroad. He was targeted for political speech and activism.  

In their attempt to intimidate Shifa, the FBI-US Government led an unconstitutional terror campaign against his family and community through its surveillance tools, fear tactics and corporate media to isolate and silence them from the world.  The government’s terror agencies, including the US Secret Services, harassed the family in an attempt to mute and scare them away from sharing their truth with the world. 

In his self-representation at his trial in 2009, Shifa challenged the imperial-government’s narrative of his case and the Atlanta Federal Court and exposed the fabricated charges and mechanisms of the US-empire building projects of the War on Terror against Muslims and the global community.  

The US continues to bar Shifa’s speech and interactions with his family and the outside world in its "control unit" for political prisoners known as the “Communication Management Unit” in Terre Haute, Indiana.  However, Shifa’s family continues to fight for him and challenge the narrative of the state and the injustices of its terror campaigns on communities of color and immigrants.

 

We remember Shifa for his courage, resiliency and speaking truth to power!  

 

We remember him for choosing to speak up and giving voice to many others whose voice have been erased and wrongfully taken away and silenced by the Imperial US-Legal System.

 

We remember him for giving us the courage to break the silence and strength for collective resiliency to strive toward transforming state and community violence.

 

 Stand in solidarity with Shifa’s family and take a moment to write to Shifa or send him a post card for giving us the courage to speak out against fear and oppression.

 

Shifa is missed and loved by his family and community.   

 

Show your love and justice!

 

Write to Shifa!

 

Ehsanul Sadequee
#1524-0006
FCI TERRE HAUTE
FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
P.O. BOX 33
TERRE HAUTE, IN 47808

 
Solidarity with CMU-Marion Prison Hunger Strikers PDF Print E-mail

 Solidarity with Marion-CMU Prison Hunger Strikers


In April 2012, a group of Muslim American political prisoners in the Communication Management Unit (CMU) at Marion, IL were on hunger strike.  Seeing the atrocious, inhumane mistreatment of Muslim prisoners, the non-Muslim inmates also went on hunger strike in solidarity. The Warden tried to silence Muslim prisoners by punishing them in solitary confinement and barring their communication. 


Since September 2011 the new Warden and her staff have been horribly abusing and violating Muslim inmates increasingly-- harassing during individual and congregational prayer times, revoking religiously prescribed meal, banning spiritual educational programs, torturing with lights turned on in the cells 24/7, and terminating communication with the outside world-- and denying their constitutionally granted human rights.


The demands of Muslim political prisoners include:

religiously prescribed meal

individual and congregational prayers

religious and spiritual classes and educational programs

contacts with family and friends.  


The CMU-Marion political prisoners' demands resonate strongly with what Justice for Shifa Support Committee believes are part of our human rights to freedom of religion and granting these rights to prisoners is a way to make our communities free of religious bigotry and racial oppression and violence.


Although Shifa has been removed from Marion-CMU to Terre Haute-CMU, Indiana, Justice for Shifa Support Committee stands in solidarity with the Muslim political prisoners who have been on hunger strike in the Communication Management Unit (CMU) at Marion, IL.  Faith-based segregated imprisonment and isolation at the CMU-Marion egregiously targets, discriminates, silences and abuses a minority religious group collectively.  At its core it also represses a group for practicing their faith and demanding their constitutionally granted rights to religious freedom. We see clear lines connecting the CMU-Marion struggle to the California hunger striker's struggle-- demanding their constitutional and human rights-- and preceding decades of prisoner-led demands to their rights throughout the prison system.  


We believe the US Government established these two 'secret' units, CMUs in Illinois and Indiana, inside the Federal Prison System to harass and prevent Muslim prisoners from practicing their faith and promoting racial and religious intolerance. We believe the US is engaged in violent 'missionizing projects' using the CMUs and the prison system to coercively assimilate Muslims to abandon their faith and spiritual life-- by targeting and banning their basic spiritual and religious practices-- in violation of the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 


We encourage people everywhere to stand in solidarity with the CMU-Marion political prisoner hunger strikers and forge connections across the prison walls meant to disappear so many of our loved ones, friends and neighbors.  


Justice for Shifa Support Committee demands an investigation into the incidences at CMU-Marion, removal of the abusive Warden, and a stop to all violence of missionizing tactics of the government under the guise of fighting the War on Terror.

 

 

..............................

 

 

 

 

 

Stand in Solidarity with CMU-Marion Political Prisoners and Send the Following Letter to the Warden and the Following Officials.

 

 

 

Date

 

Wendy J. Roal, Warden

4500 Prison Rd

Marion, IL 62959

 

Dear Warden Roel,

 

            I am writing to express my deep concern over the pattern of harassment and mistreatment of Muslim inmates while in your custody in the Communication Management Unit (CMU) at USP-Marion. 

 

            According to reports your administration has recently placed many Muslims in solitary confinement without explanation. In addition, their right to freely practice the Muslim faith has been severely impaired on multiple occasions, forcing them to go on a hunger strike. Numerous CMU inmates from your facility have been complaining about illegal activities that your administration and staff are engaging in to deny Muslim religious and spiritual services under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and BOP regulations as well as the First Amendment.

 

            These abuses have worsened since your administration began in September 2011. The reports allege either you personally or your staff are engaging in the following pattern of misconduct and illegal behavior:

 

            1) Walking in on Muslims in the Chapel during Friday religious services and interrupting service while the Muslim preacher delivers the sermon.

            2) Cancelling several religious and spiritual classes that were approved by the Bureau of Prison staff and taught for several months before your arrival.

            3) Refusing to provide religiously prescribed Muslim meals, Halal meals and food items which were approved by the Chaplain and Trust Fund Supervisor at the BOP.

            4) Barring Muslim inmates from observing religious practices and holidays

            5) Causing health problems by keeping lights on in the cells 24/7

            6) Harassing Muslim inmates during their individual and congregational prayers

            7) Denying Muslims morning prayer

            8) Banning congregational Muslim prayer

            9) Stopping all educational and rehabilitative programs for Muslims

            10) Prohibiting communication with the outside world

 

            The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) protects the religious rights of federal inmates. It appears that your facility has been involved in serious discrimination against Muslim inmates. I request that the following actions be taken immediately.       

 

  •        Provide information on protocol and procedures regarding maintenance of prisoner safety, adherence to prisoner requests regarding communication with family members;                           
  •       Provide information about measures that have been taken to ensure CMU Muslim inmates are able to observe and practice their faith freely;
  •      Ensure that Muslim inmates constitutionally protected right to freely practice their religion is not being violated while they are in your facility;                                             
  •      Provide all Muslim inmates with a formal written apology
  •      Ensure Muslim inmates will not be retaliated against as a result of this complaint;
  •      Compensate all Muslim inmates for the emotional distress they may have suffered as a result of the extreme illegal discrimination;
  •      Provide information about the type of cultural and religious sensitivity training is conducted for corrections personnel;

            I look forward to a positive and swift resolution to this matter. Issues of such severe violations of civil and religious rights are of grave concern to me as an American citizen. I will continue to monitor this situation very closely and take any appropriate action that it deems necessary, including seeking further public attention for this case.

 

            I appreciate you taking prompt action to remedy these serious issues inside CMU-Marion.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Cc:

 

Thomas E. Perez

Assistant Attorney General

U.S. Department of Justice

Civil Rights Division

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Office of the Assistant Attorney General

Washington, DC 20530

 

Michael E. Horowitz

Inspector General

US Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Washington, DC 20530                                                                                  

 

Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr.

U.S. Department of Justice

Federal Bureau of Prisons

320 First Street, NW

Washington, DC 20534                                                                                                                         

 

Patrick Leahy

United States Senate

Committee on the Judiciary

224 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

 

Manfred Nowak

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Palais Wilson

52 Rue Des Paquis

CH - 201 Geneva, Switzerland

 

Congressman John Conyers

United States House of Representative

2426 Rayburn H.O.B

Washington, DC 20515

 

Attorney Alan Mills

Uptown People's Law Center

4413 N. Sheridan

Chicago, IL 60640

 

 

 
How Much Time Should a Wannabe Terrorist Spend in Jail by David Weingarten PDF Print E-mail

Page 1 Page 2

 
The Day of Decision for Two Young Muslim Men by Mauri Saalakhan PDF Print E-mail
Page 1 Page 2 Page 3
 
SENTENCE HEARING DECEMBER 14, 2009 PDF Print E-mail

AT    10:00 AM

RICHARD B. RUSSEL FEDERAL BUILDING

ROOM 1705, JUDGE DUFFEY

75 SPRING STREET SW

ATLANTA, GA 30303

 

PLEASE ATTEND SUSTENANCE PRE-SENTENCING GATHERING ON DEC. 13

AND THE SENTENCE HEARING ON DEC. 14

SUSTENANCE PRE-SENTENCING GATHERING: DECEMBER 13, 2009

Hosted by Free Shifa Campaign, Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective

and the Atlanta Transformative Justice Collaborative 

SUNDAY  DEC.  13, 2009
TIME:  6:00 PM-- 8:00 PM
LOCATION: THE ATLANTA FRIENDS MEETING MEETINGHOUSE
701 WEST HOWARD AVENUE,    DECATUR, GA 

 

In solidarity with the Free Shifa Campaign, on the eve of Shifa Sadaquee’s

sentencing date, we invite community members to hold space for sustenance

and justice for Shifa, Harris, freedom fighters everywhere, our families, ancestors

and future generations. We recognize the targeting, criminalization and destruction

of Muslim communities in Georgia and around the world and want to honor

the alliances we are building to respond, transform and counter the conditions

of state violence and islamophobia. We refuse to be isolated!

Please join us for a light dinner as we prepare for Shifa’s sentencing on December

14th and the new year ahead. We invite community members, especially

those interested in mobilizing a show of support the next day against a possible

60 year sentencing of Shifa Sadaquee. 

There will be an update on Shifa’s case from his family, time to gather with

community and space for reflection on how we can strengthen our resiliency,

individually and collectively.


**** PLEASE RSVP by emailing to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it SO WE CAN GET

AN ACCURATE COUNT FOR FOOD AND SUPPLIES.

This event is free and open to everyone. 

 


 

FOR SHIFA'S SENTENCE HEARING

WRITE LETTER TO THE JUDGE ABOUT REDUCING SHIFA'S SENTENCES. 



Please take action on this important social justice issue by writing letters and helping spread the word. 
A young Atlanta man has been convicted unfairly and is about to be
sentenced on four counts of conspiracy and attempt to provide
material support to foreign terrorist organizations. He has committed
no physical acts of violence.  As he said himself at his trial in August:
“I was not then, and am not now a terrorist.”  He will be sentenced on DECEMBER 14, 2009   


URGE JUDGE DUFFEY to SENTENCE SHIFA FAIRLY 
Shifa faces up to 60 years in prison for crimes he did not commit.
Shifa will be 83 years old before he gets out, if the judge throws the
book at him which is likely. 
 
Student movements across Bangladesh sent over 2900 letters in
support of Shifa  have been sent to Judge Duffey, urging him to
reduce the sentencing to time served (best case scenario) or the
lowest sentencing possible in accordance with federal sentencing guidelines.
 
Template and Summary of Trial are attached – Please make it as
personal and from the heart as possible! Visit www.freeshifa.com 
 for more information in the “Who is Shifa” section.
 
READ THE POST-TRIAL REFLECTION LETTER BY HARIS AHMED, SHIFA'S CO-DEFENDANT 
 
Read a personal letter to the Judge from Vanessa Huang 

Send hard copy to judge and PLEASE EMAIL A COPY TO   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  - 
Include your name and contact information. 

Send hard copy to: 

Judge William S. Duffey
District Court Judge
United States District Court
1721 Richard B. Russell Federal Building and United States Courthouse
75 Spring Street S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30303

Send email copy to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Background:
Ehsanul “Shifa” Sadequee is an American born US citizen kidnapped from Bangladesh at 19 and detained unconstitutionally in solitary confinement since 2006. He has been subjected to a physical assault to his head, denied medical care, and has suffered psychological abuse at the federal prison in Atlanta, GA.  Shifa endured punishment and torture for over 1200 days (over 3 years) in solitary confinement before the trial began.  For a long period, Shifa was denied access to information on the charges or evidence against him.  The so-called “evidence” used to convict him consisted of on-line chats, visiting & taping tourist sites, and translating and publishing scholarly religious texts from Arabic to English.  His First Amendment rights to religious beliefs, translation and publication of scholarly and academic literature, free speech, and debates have been violated.  Shifa Sadequee was convicted on August 12 on four counts of conspiracy and attempt to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations. The evidence is flimsy and the laws are all based on “pre-emptive prosecution” to convict people before a crime has been committed.  This case is part of a larger strategy from the Bush era of targeting Muslims for detention and discrimination – through policies of torture, illegal wiretapping and detentions throughout the U.S. and at Guantanamo.  We must work together in this new era of hope to end these unjust policies and to remember individuals like Shifa who are still suffering the consequences.  

For more details about his detention and trial: 
www.freeshifa.com 
If you are not in Atlanta and want to lend support, please don’t hesitate to contact 
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . There are multiple opportunities to join and support the organizing efforts through writing solidarity statements, connecting to media around the country, and connecting to similar cases and community responses. 

Wherever you are, please write letters and forward this call on to your networks, friends, families, and organizations!

For more information on the organizing work of the teams here in Atlanta: www.freeshifa.com 
 
JOIN Facebook group with videos and all press releases from the 7 days of trial: Justice For Shifa


Sample      Letter:

November 18, 2009

William S. Duffey
District Court Judge
United States District Court
1721 Richard B. Russell Federal Building and United States Courthouse
75 Spring Street S.W.
  
 
Atlanta, GA 30303 

RE:  Ehsanul Sadequee. Case No. 1:06-CR-147-WSD-GGB
 
Dear Honorable Judge Duffey,

As a concerned US citizen and a resident of [STATE], I am very saddened to hear about the verdict on Ehsanul Sadequee, Shifa’s case.  I am writing to kindly request Your Honor to consider a just and fair sentence for Shifa on December 14, 2009 by sentencing him to time served or to the shortest possible sentence in accordance with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. 
  
Shifa is a peaceful, loving and caring person who is looking forward to a life with his family, his new wife, and his community. He has also been an active member in the greater Atlanta community, regularly donating money to the needy and the poor, helping to raise money for the flood victims of the tsunami, engaging in interfaith discussions, and attending programs on ending violence in our community. I believe that Shifa is a great asset to our larger community and society as a whole. I would love to have him as my neighbor and work with him as a devoted community member.  
  
As our government has asserted in agreement with the defense, Shifa has not hurt anyone. He never committed a petty crime in his life.  Please consider sentencing him to time served on December 14, 2009 three years of incarceration has provided ample time to reflect on mistakes and life direction. I respectfully urge Your Honor to consider a fair sentence for Shifa.
  
I, and many others in the community at large, will be very grateful to Your Honor for ensuring that our justice system is fair to this peaceful, loving, and caring young man.  
  
 
Sincerely,
 [YOUR NAME / ADDRESS] 


 


 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 2