CRIME OF COMPASSION: In response to the brutal US and UK-sponsored sanctions against Iraq Dr. Rafil Dhafir founded the charity Help the Needy, and for 13 years he worked tirelessly to raise money to send food and medicine to starving Iraqi civilians. As a result of this charity, on February 26, 2003, just one week after the arrest of Professor Sami Al-Arian, Dhafir was subject to a high-profile arrest. As in Al-Arian’s case, then-Attorney General announced that, “funders of terrorism have been arrested,” but Dhafir was never allowed to defend these charges in a court of law. Instead he faced a 60-count indictment of white-collar crime; was convicted; and sentenced to 22 years in prison. Now approaching the twelfth anniversary of his incarceration, Dhafir is facing his last chance at legal redress, a 2255 Habeas Corpus petition. Fortunately, the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), the same group that funded Al-Arian’s transition to freedom, has taken Dhafir’s case and Retired Lieutenant Commander of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Charles Swift, now represents him. On February 2, 2015, Swift submitted a memorandum of law in support of Dhafir’s 2255 petition in the hope that he will finally get some semblance of justice. Democracy Now! covered the deportation of Dr. Al-Arian and the Dr. Dhafir Support Committee is asking that people contact Democracy Now! and ask that it give coverage to Dr. Dhafir’s case at this critical time.

Attorney Kathy Manley has submitted a challenge to Dr. Dhafir’s status which prevents him from being eligible for a camp; the government response is due on February 20th, 2015.  The first request for designation change was denied and we are hoping that this one will be successful.

See Katherine’s most recent article Fairness and Justice? Post 9/11 Muslim Charity Prosecution