Prisoners of Conscience jailed for 65 years for helping Palestinian children
by MainStreet, Sat Mar 13, 2010 at 09:38:56 AM EST
Five victims of the Holy Land Foundation witch hunt, including Ghassan Elhashi and Shukri abu Baker were just sentenced to 65 years in jail in what was nothing less than a modern U.S. witch trial, undertaken purely for Israel's sake, a rogue nation that breaks international and human rights laws everyday.
"Ghassan Elashi, a co-founding member of what was once the nation's largest Muslim charity, was sentenced to 65 years in prison for funneling millions of dollars to the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Mr. Elashi, 55, and Shukri Abu Baker, 50, were among the five members of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development sentenced. The men and the foundation were convicted in November 2008 on 108 charges, following a mistrial in which the government in 2007 failed to convince jurors that the charity sent more than $12 million to Hamas. Mufid Abdulqader, 49, was sentenced to 20 years on three conspiracy counts. Mohammad El-Mezain, 55, received 15 years for one count of conspiracy to support a terrorist organization, and Abdulrahman Odeh 15 years for three conspiracy counts. The group was not accused of violence, but of bankrolling schools and social welfare programs the government says are controlled by Hamas. It is illegal to offer Hamas support because it has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States."
These defendants were convicted of feeding needy children in Gaza, while Israel was conducting ethnic cleansing and colonization of Palestinian lands in the territories. Although Israel has killed ten times as many innocent civilians in Gaza over the years (a hundred times during the brutal siege of December, 2008), it has been able, using the US State Department, to brand Hamas as a terrorist organization, when it is known that it provides feeding programs, education, medical, and social services to the people of Gaza.
Amy Goodman of Democracy Now went on the attack in May 29, 2009:
Despite No Links to Violence, Founders of Muslim Charity Sentenced to Lengthy Terms for Donations to Needy Palestinians in Occupied Territories
"Five founders of the Holy Land Foundation, once the nation’s largest Muslim charity, have received prison terms of up to sixty-five years on charges of supporting the Palestinian group Hamas. The five were never accused of supporting violence and were convicted for funding charities that aided needy Palestinians. The government’s case relied on Israeli intelligence as well as disputed documents and electronic surveillance gathered by the FBI over a span of fifteen years. We speak to Noor Elashi, daughter of Ghassan Elashi, the chair of the Holy Land Foundation who was sentenced to sixty-five years; and Nancy Hollander, a defense attorney who represented former Holy Land CEO Shukri Abu Baker."
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