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Members of Congress, Victims to Demand an End to Secret Evidence in American Courts

WASHINGTON, DC — Members of Congress, victims and relatives, civil rights activists and community leaders will demand an end to “secret evidence” at a February 16 forum on Capitol Hill. Over 20 individuals, almost all of Arab origin, are facing deportation on the basis of secret evidence. Some are entering their third year of incarceration with no end in sight. Over 60 members of Congress are sponsoring HR 2121, “the Secret Evidence Repeal Act,” which would eliminate the use of secret evidence in American courts.
Yesterday, Sunday Feb. 13, marks 1,000 days of imprisonment for Dr. Mazen al-Najjar, formerly a University of South Florida professor, who is incarcerated in Tampa, Florida. Others have been in prison for over three years without due process rights. In several recent cases, judges have ruled that secret evidence victims have been held unjustly and in violation of their constitutional rights to due process.
WHO:

  • Victims of secret evidence, members of Congress, political and religious leaders & civil rights activists: Reps., Rodriguez, Meeks, Kucinich, Bonior & others Nahla Al-Arian, sister of Mazen al-Najjar Nasser Ahmed, released November 1999 after 3 ½ years in solitary confinement Nassima Haddam, wife of Algerian Anwar Haddam, jailed since December 1996 Zakia Hakki, mother of Ali Yasin Mohamed Karim, one of the “Iraqi Six” imprisoned on secret evidence since March 1997
    WHEN:

  • Wednesday, February 16, 2000, 6:30 – 9 p.m.
    (Documentary 7-7:30 p.m.)
    WHERE:

  • Caucus Room (345), Cannon House Office Building
    1st & Independence, SE, Washington, DC
    This forum is sponsored by the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom (NCPPF), major American Muslim and Arab organizations, and the Peace and Justice Foundation. The Coalition comprises over thirty civil rights groups, Arab-American and American Muslim organizations working against threats to constitutional rights posed by 1996 immigration and anti-terrorism legislation.