By Petra Bartosiewicz
In June 2008, I attended a meeting in Albany organized by the FBI and designed to quell the growing fury over the arrest and prosecution of two local Mus lim immig r ant s , Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain. The previous year Aref and Hossain, both leaders at a local mosque, had been sentenced to fifteen years in federal prison in connection with their role in a terrorism scheme that the press had dubbed the Albany “missile plot.” Read the rest . . .
When an upstate imam named Yassin Aref was convicted on a suspect terrorism charge, he was sent to a secretive prison denounced by civil libertarians as a Muslim quarantine.
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, September/October 2007, pages 19-20, 23
Justice For All?
From Sting to Frame-Up: The Case of Yassin Aref
By Stephen Downs
Yassin Aref hugs a friend after being released from jail upon posting bond, Aug. 26, 2004 (Photo Will Waldron, Copyright Albany Times Union).
FOR THE PAST three years, I have witnessed the federal government’s attempt to destroy the life and family of Yassin Aref, a Muslim imam from Albany, New York. In 2004, the government brought bogus terrorism-related charges against him in an FBI sting operation. In October 2006 Yassin was convicted of some of the charges, and in April 2007 he was sent to the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana to serve a 15-year sentence. There he was placed in the Communication Management Unit (CMU), a special wing of the prison formed in December 2006 for the purpose of isolating prisoners, especially Muslims whose offenses include anything even indirectly related to terrorism (see May/June 2007 Washington Report, p. 12). Continue reading . . .
Read the Complaint filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights over the Communication Management Unit for Yassin Aref and others
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, November 2007, pages 5-6
Letters to the Editor
Appalled and Outraged
MY FIRST FOCUS IS, and will remain, on the endlessly tormented people of Palestine. But I was appalled and outraged at the mistreatment of Imam Yassin Aref and his family, reported with such articulateness by Stephen Downs in your Sept./Oct issue (“From Sting to Frame-Up: The Case of Yassin Aref,” p. 19). America has become a cruel parody of a freedom-loving, justice-serving nation, and we are all shamefully complicit in one way or another. Continue reading . . .