About

Shifa Sadequee, a 23 year old South Asian Muslim young man in Atlanta, is fighting for his life.

Dear friends, family and community members,

Please take action on this important social justice issue by writing letters and helping spread the word. A young Atlanta man has been wrongly convicted and is about to be sentenced on four counts of conspiracy and attempt to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations.  He has committed no physical acts of violence.  As he said himself at his trial in August: “I was not then, and am not now a terrorist.”

He will be sentenced on October 22nd.

URGE JUDGE DUFFEY to SENTENCE SHIFA FAIRLY

Shifa faces 60 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Shifa will be 83 years old before he gets out, if the judge throws the book at him which is likely.  His case has gained international attention.  His sentencing will take place on October 22, 2009.

Student movements across Bangladesh collected 2,500 letters. We are working to send 1000 personal letters to Judge Duffey, urging him to reduce Shifa’s sentencing to time served (best case scenario) or the lowest sentencing possible in accordance with federal sentencing guidelines.

On this blog, you will find open letters written by poets, activists, family, friends, leaders, scholars, writers, community members and supporters to free Shifa.

If you would like to write an open letter to the judge in support of Shifa, please use the template below and the letters featured on this blog.
Template is below – Please make it as personal and from the heart as possible! Visit www.freeshifa.com for more information in the “Who is Shifa” section.
Send hard copy to judge and PLEASE EMAIL A COPY TO freeshifa@gmail.comInclude your name and contact information.

Send hard copy to:
Judge William S. Duffey
District Court Judge
United States District Court
1721 Richard B. Russell Federal Building and United States Courthouse
75 Spring Street S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30303

Send email copy to: freeshifa@gmail.com

Background:

Ehsanul “Shifa” Sadequee is an American born US citizen kidnapped from Bangladesh at 19 and detained unconstitutionally in solitary confinement since 2006. He has been subjected to a physical assault to his head, denied medical care, and has suffered psychological abuse at the federal prison in Atlanta, GA.  Shifa endured punishment and torture for over 1100 days (3 years) in solitary confinement before the trial began.  For a long period, Shifa was denied access to information on the charges or evidence against him.  The so-called “evidence” used to convict him consisted of on-line chats, visiting & taping tourist sites, and translating and publishing scholarly religious texts from Arabic to English.  His First Amendment rights to religious beliefs, translation and publication of scholarly and academic literature, free speech, and debates have been violated.  Shifa Sadequee was convicted on August 12 on four counts of conspiracy and attempt to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations. The evidence is flimsy and the laws are all based on “pre-emptive prosecution” to convict people before a crime has been committed.  This case is part of a larger strategy from the Bush era of targeting Muslims for detention and discrimination – through policies of torture, illegal wiretapping and detentions throughout the U.S. and at Guantanamo.  We must work together in this new era of hope to end these unjust policies and to remember individuals like Shifa who are still suffering the consequences.  For more details about his detention and trial: www.freeshifa.com

If you are not in Atlanta and want to lend support, please don’t hesitate to contact freeshifa@gmail.com. There are multiple opportunities to join and support the organizing efforts through writing solidarity statements, connecting to media around the country, and connecting to similar cases and community responses.

Wherever you are, please write letters and forward this call on to your networks, friends, families, and organizations!

For more information on the organizing work of the teams here in Atlanta: www.freeshifa.com


JOIN the Facebook group with videos and all press releases from the 7 days of trial: JUSTICE FOR SHIFA.

Sample Letter:

August 20, 2009

William S. Duffey

District Court Judge

United States District Court

1721 Richard B. Russell Federal Building and United States Courthouse

75 Spring Street S.W.

Atlanta, GA 30303

RE:  Ehsanul Sadequee. Case No. 1:06-CR-147-WSD-GGB

Dear Honorable Judge Duffey,

As a concerned US citizen and a resident of [STATE], I am very saddened to hear about the verdict on Ehsanul Sadequee, Shifa’s case.  I am writing to kindly request Your Honor to consider a just and fair sentence for Shifa on October 22, 2009 by sentencing him to time served or to the shortest possible sentence in accordance with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Shifa is a peaceful, loving and caring person who is looking forward to a life with his family, his new wife, and his community. He has also been an active member in the greater Atlanta community, regularly donating money to the needy and the poor, helping to raise money for the flood victims of the tsunami, engaging in interfaith discussions, and attending programs on ending violence in our community. I believe that Shifa is a great asset to our larger community and society as a whole. I would love to have him as my neighbor and work with him as a devoted community member.

As our government has asserted in agreement with the defense, Shifa has not hurt anyone. He never committed a petty crime in his life.  Please consider sentencing him to time served on October 22, 2009 three years of incarceration has provided ample time to reflect on mistakes and life direction. I respectfully urge Your Honor to consider a fair sentence for Shifa.

I, and many others in the community at large, will be very grateful to Your Honor for ensuring that our justice system is fair to this peaceful, loving, and caring young man.

Sincerely,
[YOUR NAME / ADDRESS]