Mr. Mohammad Salah and Dr. Abdelhaleem Ashqar, codefendants in the case of United States v. Salah, will be sentenced this Wednesday and Friday, respectively.
For many observers, the Salah case amounted to political persecution. The jury acquitted both defendants of all major bcharges but convicted them of lesser charges unrelated to terrorism: both were found guilty of obstruction of justice and Dr. Ashqar for criminal contempt for refusing to testify in front of a grand jury.
Please attend the final sentencing.
This Week's Schedule:
**It is recommended to arrive starting at 8:00 a.m. for seating. Overflow seating is available for those arriving at 10:00 a.m. or later.
Wednesday: Salah Sentencing
Friday: Ashqar Sentencing
Courtroom of Judge Amy St. Eve
Dirksen Federal Building
219 S. Dearborn (at Jackson & Dearborn)
Chicago, IL 60604
Mr. Salah and Dr. Ashqar were indicted on counts of racketeering conspiracy for allegedly funneling money to Hamas. The government’s case was based largely on statements Mr. Salah says he gave while being tortured. Judge St. Eve denied a motion to suppress that evidence, despite the fact that the Israeli Shin Bet routinely tortured arrestees during the period Mr. Salah was in prison. The government now seeks hefty prison terms for both men, despite the fact that the convictions were minor and that Mr. Salah has already served time in Israeli prison.
Through its targeting of Mr. Salah and Dr. Ashqar, the Bush administration has attempted to criminalize charitable aid to Palestinians. The government spent significant taxpayer resources in the prosecution of this case, and the lives of Dr. Ashqar and Mr. Salah have been disrupted for years. The defendants are neither terrorists nor criminals for having supplied charitable aid to the most vulnerable factions of their occupied and war-ravaged country of origin, Palestine.