To the editor:

I would like to make an important correction to the article on Dr. Dhafir’s trial. Laura Van Wert said I “do not deny the court’s decision”. I totally disagree with the verdict the jury reached. The defense provided more than ample evidence for “reasonable doubt” on all charges. But Dr. Dhafir was never afforded the right of being held “innocent until proven guilty”. He was stigmatized before he set foot in the court: the jury knew he had been held for two years without bail, they saw him flanked by Federal Marshals at all times and they saw three government agents; from the FBI, Defense Department and Social Security, sitting behind the three prosecutors, for the length of the trial. I believe this total disregard by the government for Dr. Dhafir’s civil liberties had a powerful influence on the jury’s verdict.

People in the University community seem unaware of how close to home this trial comes. Three of the people charged in this case have graduated from Syracuse University with advanced degrees. Where is our concern for the truth about these alumni? Should we stand by and allow these former students and Dr. Dhafir to be criminalized because they responded to the overwhelming humanitarian crisis created by the US imposed sanctions? One and a half million people died as a direct result of the sanctions. How can we piously remember the Holocaust while ignoring what is happening now to Muslims in this country?