RESPECT PARACHAS HUMAN RIGHTS, GIVE HIM A FAIR & JUST TRIAL sign now

President George W. Bush
White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500 December 23, 2005


RESPECT PARACHAS HUMAN RIGHTS, GIVE HIM A FAIR & JUST TRIAL
We, the undersigned, are the members of the congregation at the Islamic Center of Long Island, Westbury. We are deeply concerned and oppose the wrongful detention of Uzair Paracha, a Pakistani national, with permanent residency in the U.S. He has been held at the Metropolitan Detention Center, 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 pleaded 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 and international human rights groups have expressed 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 recent cases 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 and to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favour." In his trial, Mr Paracha has been denied access to key witnesses, who his attorneys described as pivotal for his defence and whose testimony could establish his innocence. We, along with Mr. Parachas lawyers, fear that his casewhere hearings hitherto have been continually postponed without apparent causecould be sent on a path to the same legal standoff that has derailed the Moussaoui trial.

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 to 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. Government strengthen, rather than undermine the rule of international law and the standards of justice and decency.

Sincerely,


CC: Donald Rumsfeld - Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301


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Melanie MosesBy:
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President George W. Bush

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