Published 8/27/08
To the editor:

Almost five and a half years to the day that he became the first and only U.S. citizen jailed for resisting U.S. economic sanctions against the people of Iraq, Dr. Rafil Dhafir, a Syracuse oncologist who helped raise almost $5 million in humanitarian supplies for the Iraqi people, will have his appeal heard at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City, on August 28, 2008.

The Dr. Dhafir Support Committee would like to remind your readers that on the day of Dr. Dhafir’s sentencing, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) issued a statement that said,

“Every person charged with a crime in the US deserves and is entitled to fair and equal treatment under the law. In many ways, Dr. Dhafir was presumed guilty long before the trial began, and of much more than indicated by the charges filed against him. For the NYCLU, this case raises serious questions as to whether Muslims accused or charged with crimes in the US can truly receive a fair trial. Our government should not tout the conviction of Dr. Dhafir or the harsh sentence imposed by the court as a ‘win,’ or as any kind of advancement in national security. When ‘justice’ is pursued with religious and ethnic prejudice, and through actions that intimidate and isolate an entire community, there is no victory – there can be no advancement in national security, or faith in the promise of equal treatment under law.”

The Dr. Dhafir Support Committee hopes that Dr. Dhafir will find justice through the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. For more information:

Magda Bayoumi
Peggy Boyd
Bob Elmendorf
Katherine Hughes
Mohamed Khater
John Oldfield
Julienne Oldfield
For the Dr. Dhafir Support Committee