Please join in a show of solidarity and witness with Dr. Rafil Dhafir and the Muslim community of Syracuse, New York, whose civil rights were violated on February 26, 2003. On that day Dr. Rafil Dhafir, founder of the charity Help the Needy (HTN) and other HTN associates were arrested. Simultaneous to the arrests, between the hours of 6a.m. and 10a.m., 150 local Muslim families who had donated to HTN were interrogated. Many of these families have connections to Syracuse University as staff, faculty, and students.

The rally will be held outside the Schine Student Center, at Syracuse University, Tuesday, March 27th, 2007.


We will begin gathering (prayers, reflection, and conversation amongst ourselves) at 6 pm.

At 7 p.m. we will begin a witness.

Please feel free to attend one or both events.


On the day of the HTN arrests former Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that “funders of terrorism” had been apprehended. Yet no charges of terrorism were ever brought against Dhafir, and the prosecution successfully lobbied the presiding judge to disallow the charge of terrorism from being part of the trial. Even so, the government touts the prosecutions of all the HTN people as “successes” in the “war on terror.”

Charged with breaking the sanctions U.S. and U.K. Sponsored UN sanctions on Iraq and white collar crime, Dhafir was held without bail for 31 months, denied access to his own records and counsel, convicted after a show trial, and then sentenced to 22 years in prison.

He was recently moved to a new unit, the Communications Management Unit (CMU), that houses almost exclusively Arab and/or Muslim prisoners in complete isolation from the main prison population. Communications in this unit are severely restricted; all ingoing and outgoing mail is monitored and copied, with a delay of one to two weeks, phone calls are limited to 15 mins. each week, and no contact visits allowed.

To know more about the case see this article, “Criminalizing Compassion in the War on Terror: Muslim Charities and the Case of Dr. Rafil A. Dhafi.

To know more about the CMU under which Dr. Dhafir is now being held see, “Documents show new secretive US prison program isolating Muslim, Middle Eastern prisoners.

If you care about civil liberties please join us.

Katherine Hughes
For the Dr. Dhafir Support Committee

To attend the John Ashcroft lecture: 

Syracuse University will host a lecture by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft on Tuesday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m. in the Goldstein Auditorium of the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center. Event tickets — free to SU students with I.D.; $3 for the general public — are available in person at the Schine Box Office. Event parking will be free, on a space-available basis, in the Waverly and Marion lots.

For ticket information, call the Schine Box Office at (315) 443-4517.

Location: Goldstein Auditorium, Schine Student Center
Price: Free for students, $3 for general public