Wednesday, May 9, 2012

No sitting on the fence

Our Brother Ziyad Needs Our Help!


“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”

-Desmond Tutu

What happened?

In January 2012, Ziyad Yaghi was sentenced to 31 and a half years in prison for unfounded accusations of terrorism. Ziyad never broke any law, never hurt anyone, nor did he ever plan to do so. He has been swept up in the federal government’s efforts to appear as though it is really fighting terrorism.
His trial was unfair even before it started, having spent two years in jail before even going to court and having outrageous stories about ‘dangerous’ men circulated in the media. His trip to Jordan and Egypt to visit family and get married was used against him when the government claimed the trip was something sinister without even offering any proof. After tons of recordings and videos, the government did not even have a single recorded moment with Ziyad, and to top it off, the confessed ‘ring leader’ himself admitted that Ziyad was never part of any ‘conspiracy.’
It didn’t matter that Ziyad never did anything wrong because prosecutors were allowed to show irrelevant videos depicting violence to a jury who, like most folks from suburban North Carolina, already had a negative idea about Muslims and Islam. And now, Ziyad has to spend the next thirty years in prison.

What’s next?

The truth is that Ziyad and many others are innocent and have been targetted for being Muslim. They should not spend another day in prison, much less the hellish supermax prisons under torturous conditions.
We have a chance to stop this injustice against Ziyad by helping him hire a lawyer for an appeal. His family needs to raise $50,000 to retain a profession legal defense team to appeal the unjust verdict and become free!

What can we do?

Take action to secure our freedoms:

  • Share Ziyad’s story with your friends and family. The more people that know, the more likely they will be willing to take action against injustice. Stay current by joining the facebook group and following the blog.
  • Let Ziyad and his family know that you support their fight against injustice. Write to him at:
    Ziyad Yaghi #51771-056 
    USP Coleman II 
    P.O. Box 1034 Coleman, 
    FL 33521 USA
  • Donate to Ziyad’s Legal Fund or suggest a skilled lawyer that will take up the appeal pro-bono. If you wish to send funds directly, please contact Laila Yaghi for a direct address.
  • Sign the petition to free Ziyad and this petition to stop torture and solitary confinement.
  • Write a letter to your federalstate and local representatives to express your outrage and demand a stop to preemptive prosecutions, profiling, and entrapment. Sample letter from Project SALAM found here.
  • Speak out against the injustices and discriminatory practices that are going on against Muslims people and the unfair targeting of the FBI towards Muslims.
  • Don’t vote for Presidents/Congressmen who encourage this type of discrimination or who remain silent while these injustices are taking place under their terms.

Why should we do this?

Ziyad’s appeal is not just about him and his family ending this nightmare; it’s about you too. If a decent bunch of lawyers can prove the truth about Ziyad’s innocence, then we all have a chance to believe that the rest of us will not also be persecuted for being Muslim.

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