Monday, January 18th, 2010
6 to 7 pm, across from the Metropolitan Correctional Complex (MCC)
150 Park Row and Pearl Street, NYC
On January 18th, as our nation commemorates Martin Luther King Day, for the slain civil rights leader who peacefully spoke out against war, racism, and injustice, members of THAW (Theater Artists Against War) and friends, family, and supporters of Fahad Hashmi ask that you join us for a special Free Fahad Vigil across from the MCC, Metropolitan Correctional Center, in New York City, where Fahad Hashmi has been detained for over two and half years before trial under conditions of severe solitary confinement.
January 11, 2010 marks the 8th year of the Guantanamo prison establishing indefinite detention and torture, operated outside the established rule of law and Geneva Conventions by the United States government against international “terror suspects.” Last year President Obama declared — and then voided — a deadline for closing this prison. Some of the Guantanamo detainees have even been cleared of any “wrongdoings” by the Dept. of Defense and yet remain imprisoned there.
While these detainees and the conditions they are being held under at Guantanamo have received worldwide attention and due criticism, similar unlawful abuses and inhumane treatment of U.S. citizens that is happening here in NYC has not. The case of Fahad Hashmi is particularly disturbing because he has been held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York City for over two and half years before trial under “Special Administrative Measures,” known as SAMS, that keep him in perpetual solitary confinement, under electronic surveillance, subject to a regime of severe deprivation equivalent to torture — in violation of habeas corpus. The U.S. government has a very weak case against him, accusing him of allowing an acquaintance to sleep on his couch who then traveled with waterproof socks and ponchos to Fahad’s birth country of Pakistan (his family immigrated to the U.S. when he was three). The U.S. government argues this constitutes “material support to al Qaeda” and justifies Fahad’s harsh detention conditions under the threat of terrorism. There is also a lot of ancillary “evidence” being used by the U.S. government against Fahad pertaining to his reputation as a devout Muslim and student activist, which suggests a “pre-crime” — racist discriminatory profiling, prosecution, and torture of a man based more on his ethnicity and religion than for anything else.
Please join members of THAW and friends, family, and supporters of Fahad Hashmi for a special Free Fahad Vigil featuring Kathleen Chalfant, Andre Gregory, Chris Hedges, Bill Irwin, Cindy Sheehan, Wallace Shawn, and folksinger Dar Williams across the street from the MCC at 150 Park Row and Pearl Street from 6 to 7 pm on Monday, January 18th, this Martin Luther King Day, as we stand up and say to NYC and the Federal Government: “No Guantanamos at Home or Abroad.”
Please circulate this invitation and either of the video invitations for the vigil below:
For more information, go to <www.thawaction.org>.