The trial of Fahad Hashmi, a 30 year-old United States citizen who has been held in pre-trial solitary confinement for the past three years, begins next Wednesday, April 28. Hashmi is being held in downtown Manhattan-just one mile from the Center for Constitutional Rights‘ office and eleven miles from where he grew up in Queens. Hashmi has been charged with material support for terrorism, charges that he denies.

The conditions of Hashmi’s detention are in violation of international and domestic laws that prohibit torture and other serious human rights abuses. Read CCR Legal Director Bill Quigley’s recent article on Fahad Hashmi’s cruel and unusual detention. Under Special Administrative Measures (SAMs), imposed by Attorney General Mukasey under the Bush administration and renewed by Holder under President Obama, Hashmi is kept in extreme isolation. His communications from his family and loved ones and access to the news and other reading material are either prohibited or highly restricted. He may not send or receive letters, except for one letter a week to a single family member at a time,  and the letter cannot exceed three sheets of paper. He is forbidden from participating in group prayer, an important element of his religious practice.  Hashmi has no access to fresh air because he is in lockdown for 23 hours a day-his one hour of daily recreation, when granted, is taken alone inside a cage. His cell is electronically monitored, so he is forced to shower and relieve himself on video camera.

Hashmi has already been deprived of the right to a fair trial. Much of the evidence in the case has been classified under the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) and Hashmi himself has not been allowed to review much of the evidence being used against him. The conditions of his detention have affected his mental state and harmed his ability to participate in his own defense.

Here are some ways you can take action today:

If you are in or near NYC:
Pack the Court:
Please attend all or parts of Fahad Hashmi’s trial before Judge Preska, which begins next Wednesday, April 28, 2010 and is expected to last two to three weeks. The trial will take place at 500 Pearl Street. Email Muslims for Justice [] for more information about trial observation.

Attend the vigil outside of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan next Monday, April 26 from 6-7pm. Click here for more information.
If you are outside of NYC:
Distribute Materials: Order “Dear Fahad” postcards to distribute locally by emailing

Email the Attorney General to register your concerns by clicking here.
Please make your voice heard in defense of human rights and a fair trial for Fahad Hashmi.
Yours truly,
Annette Dickerson
Director of Education and Outreach