On Sunday we learned that the authorities at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in downtown Chicago offered Rabih Haddad the option of no longer being in solitary confinement, an offer he is taking them up on. Haddad, co-founder of the Global Relief Foundation, was imprisoned without bail December 14th and his foundation shut down by the feds. The government has yet to produce any evidence, let alone charges against him, and a few weeks ago told his attorney that Haddad isn't even considered a criminal suspect.
Yet since January 17th he has been in solitary confinement at Chicago's MCC, the scene of several demonstrations and press conferences by the Chicago Coalition Against War & Racism, which has led his defense work along with the Ann Arbor Ad Hoc Committee for Peace and Michigan's Committee to Free Rabih Haddad. Until recently, he was permitted only one 15-minute phone call a month to his family and 4 hours visiting per month.
But thanks to protest, all this has begun to change. Visiting hours have been quadrupled to 4 hours per week, he is now permitted one 15 minute phone call per week, and soon he should be taken out of solitary confinement.
Despite this progress, the fact that Haddad is imprisoned at all is an outrage. The fact that the feds continue to shut down the Global Relief Foundation - again without producing a shred of evidence - means that many thousands of desperately needy people in places like Palestine and Chechnya who formerly depended on GRF for food, medical supplies and shelter, must now do without.
We must demand the immediate release of Rabih Haddad and the hundreds of other immigrants being held without criminal charges. Please contact US Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald to protest Haddad's continued incarceration: phone him at 312.353.5300; send faxes to 312.353.2067; send letters to 219 S. Dearborn St., 5th Floor, Chicago 60604.
Most importantly, please make the time to attend two rallies in defense of our civil liberties and Rabih Haddad: 8:00 pm, Friday, March 22, Al-Aqsa School, 7361 W. 92nd St, Bridgeview, and 7:00 pm, Saturday, March 23, United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse Ave, Chicago.
If we can win freedom for Rabih Haddad, we can help turn the tide of the anti-immigrant hysteria in this country.
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