This piece was reprinted by OpEd News with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.WHY IS THE US GOVERNMENT SO AFRAID OF JUSTICE IN THE CASE OF DR. RAFIL DHAFIR?
By Katherine Hughes
The Bush administration and its "justice department keeps finding ways to block justice and circumvent the rights the constitution grants.
For that reason this is an Urgent Request For Funds To Buy Trial Transcripts in defense of a blessed man wrongfully convicted by the Bush Justice Department for his crime of compassion:
In direct response to the humanitarian catastrophe created by the brutal and unjustifiable U.S. and U.K. sponsored UN embargo on Iraq, Dr. Rafil Dhafir started the charity Help the Needy (HTN). For 13 years he worked tirelessly to help publicize the plight of the Iraqi people and to raise funds to help them.
According to the US government, he donated $1.25 million of his own money. As an oncologist, he was particularly concerned about the effects of depleted uranium and skyrocketing Iraqi cancer rates. Because of this humanitarian work he has been incarcerated since February 26, 2003.
Bankrupting Dr.Dhafir was just one of the many tools the Bush Justice Department employed to make it impossible for him to defend himself. They also held him without bail for 31 months and denied him access to his counsel and his own records. He is now serving 22 years in jail for a crime he was never charged with in a court of law.
Although convicted as a white-collar criminal, the US government touts Dr. Dhafir's case as a success in its war on terror. In the most recent obstruction of justice in the case, the government is attempting to reverse an appeal court decision to grant Dr. Dhafir his transcripts at the court's expense; they are almost certain to be successful.
Transcripts are the bedrock of an appeal process and will cost about $22,000. It is 14 months since Dr. Dhafir's sentencing and we have been unable to move forward with the appeal because we don't have the transcripts or the funds to get them.
The vigor of the government's denial of due process from the outset of this case is appalling and a deliberate act of vengeance against this man. One can only wonder why despite the fact that the odds for a successful appeal are abysmal - a mere 5 percent - the government still feels it necessary to inhibit Dr. Dhafir's quest for justice.
During the McCarthy era, Judge Irving Kaufman warned once we embark on shortcuts by creating a category of obviously guilty whose rights are denied, we run the risk that the circle of the unprotected will grow. It is incumbent upon each of us to defend civil liberties for all, not least because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
PLEASE HELP US ACHIEVE JUSTICE BY SENDING A DONATION FOR ANY AMOUNT, NO MATTER HOW SMALL OR LARGE, TO: "DHAFIR APPEAL FUND." MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO:
PETER GOLDBERGER ESQ., ATTORNEY AT LAW, 50 RITTENHOUSE PLACE, ARDMORE, PA 19003. WRITE "DR. RAFIL DHAFIR APPEAL FUND"IN THE MEMO LINE. PLEASE NOTE THAT DONATIONS ARE NOT TAX DEDUCTIBLE.
For the Dr. Rafil Dhafir Support Committee.
For more information about the case see my recent Fellowship
If you would like to join the Dr. Dhafir Support Committee contact:
P.O Box 5789
Salinas CA 93915