Sun 26 Feb 2017
Today is the 14th anniversary of the arrest of Dr. Dhafir and other Help The Needy (HTN) charity associates who were subjected to high-profile arrests in the early morning of February 26, 2003, just weeks before the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Simultaneous to the arrests, between the hours of 6 and 10 a.m., law enforcement agents interrogated 150 predominantly Muslim families because they had donated to HTN. Dhafir was never released.
Held without bail for 19 months before trial, this greatly impeded his ability to prepare his defense. After a 17-week trial, Dr. Dhafir was convicted of violating International Economic Emergency Powers Act (IEEPA), white-collar crimes related to his charity, and Medicare fraud. Yet he is currently in his 15th year of a 22-year prison sentence for a crime he was never charged with in a court of law: money laundering to help terrorist organizations. His real crime was sending food and medicine, for 13 years, to sick and starving Iraqi civilians during the brutal US and UK-sponsored UN embargo on that country.
See: article written just after Dr. Dhafir’s sentencing to 22 years in prison for his humanitarian outreach; case summary; film project and The Iraqi Doctor: patients revere him; the government wants to put him away.