Free Uzair Paracha sign now

To: President Pervez Musharraf,
President George W. Bush,
US Attorney General John Ashcroft
US Secretary Colin Powell
US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld

We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned and opposed to the wrongful detention of Uzair Paracha, a Pakistani national, with permanent residency in the U.S. He has been held at the Metropolitan Detention Centre, Manhattan, since March 2003.

Uzair Paracha is one of approximately fifty material witnesses who have been detained indefinitely in the United States in the past 2 years. He has since been charged on five counts, for providing material support to al-Qaeda, for which he has put in a plea of not guilty. His detention is a violation of amendments VI and VIII of the Bill of Rights, and Articles V-XI of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights most notably Article IX which states, no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Civil liberties groups have expressed their concerns about the highly coercive conditions such material witnesses have been subjected to, to the extent that, as a result of such interrogations, they end up confessing to activities they never really took part in (Michael Greenberger, director of the Centre for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland School of Law). We remind you of the number of cases recently where such detainees have confessed to crimes they did not commit, only for their innocence to later be proven, most notably the case of Egyptian student, Abdallah Higazy.

We are also deeply concerned that Mr. Paracha has not been allowed the rights guaranteed to him by the VI Amendment of the Bill of Rights which states that the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favour in that he has been denied access to key witnesses in his trial, who his attorneys describe as pivotal for his defence, and whose testimony could establish his innocence. His lawyers fear that his case - where hearings hitherto have been continually postponed, without apparent cause - could be sent on a path to the same legal standoff that has derailed the Moussaoui trial. This is increasingly distressing, given additional delays to an already prolonged, unfair internment could have an adverse effect on his mental health, over which concerns have already been expressed, and cause unnecessary suffering. Such concerns would only be exasperated if he were to be found guilty, given he faces a prison sentence of up to fifteen years.

We urge you to also consider how this compounds the stress and anxiety on his parents, one of whom is himself detained without charge at Bagram Airbase, and both of whom are elderly and suffer from a number of serious medical conditions. Mr. Uzair Paracha was only allowed to see his extended family for the first time after being confined without charge for five months. Since then, although he is permitted to write, he has not seen his immediate family and has been entitled to only two fifteen-minute phone calls to them in the past year.

This is all the more disappointing considering Mr. Paracha had always been an upright, law-abiding citizen, and was a legal resident of the United States for over a decade; a green card holder, and was, at the time of his arrest, legally in the U.S. pursuing a legitimate business venture. His attorneys vouch for Mr. Parachas good character and claim that their client has been manipulated, asserting that there was never any criminal intent behind any association with al-Qaeda members, if the latter can be established.

We urge you to act immediately to ensure that Mr. Paracha is given a fair, just trial, without further delay. We implore you to secure Mr. Parachas constitutional right to call available witnesses of his own choosing and to prevent his trial being unnecessarily prolonged by being denied this right.

We appeal to you to review the current status of Mr. Uzair Paracha. Please ensure that his human rights are respected and that he be granted direct access to his family. We are concerned that in these present circumstances, a grave miscarriage of justice could easily occur. Please ensure that the U.S. and Pakistani Government strengthens, rather than undermines the rule of international law and the standards of justice and decency.

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Latest Signatures

  • 09 December 2015800. Omaer Holden
    frre him u IdIOTS
  • 08 December 2015799. Zain M
    I support this petition
  • 26 November 2015798. Ovais Wiley
    I support this petition
  • 24 November 2015797. Talib Fuller
    He is not guilty!!!
  • 05 November 2015796. Mehreen Owens
    I support this petition
  • 03 November 2015795. Safder R
    I support this petition
  • 27 October 2015794. Imran Malone
    I support this petition
  • 14 October 2015793. Muhammad Siddiqurrehmanp
    Every day is a struggle and I hope that he will be back very soon
  • 08 October 2015792. Muminah Skinner
    Where is the justice in the so-called land of the free?
  • 26 September 2015791. Fatima A
  • 23 September 2015790. Mahvish N
    I hope this petition works...
  • 21 September 2015789. Arif M
    I support this petition
  • 19 September 2015788. Omair H
    I support this petition
  • 15 September 2015787. Addy Nunez
    I have known Uzair and Saifullah Paracha to be really wonderful people and they would never commit such a crime in life. I hope and pray that you all free him and bring him back to his family
  • 09 September 2015786. Mohammad Alii
    free the innocent ppl
  • 04 September 2015785. Farhat P
    I wish the US Government had a mother's heart
  • 31 August 2015784. Bisma P
    I support this petition
  • 24 August 2015783. Mustafa Pollard
    I wish the US Government had a mother who would straighten it up
  • 23 August 2015782. Kiran Bennett
    I support this petition
  • 21 August 2015781. Ali Z
    Plz free it As soon As possible.
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  • 08 August 2015779. Muniza K
    I support this petition
  • 22 July 2015778. Hammad Mcclain
    I support this petition
  • 20 July 2015777. Zehra S
    I support this petition
  • 13 July 2015776. Rayvachinote Reed
    I support this petition
  • 11 July 2015775. Nauman A
    Free The Parachas!!!
  • 09 July 2015774. Rabia Kemp
    I support this petition

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Luella RileyBy:
Petition target:
US Government, Pakistani Government


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