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Prison for Dummies:Jailed Al Qaeda terror operatives Hassoun and Jayoussi want case dismissed due to 'punitive' treatment

June 19, 2005

MIM :This article sounds like Jay Weaver is trying to get a CAIR 'friend of the Muslim Community' award like his colleagues Michael Mayo from the Sun Sentinel - and Robert Steinbeck of the Miami Herald did in 2003.

Weaver seems to feels sorry for Hassoun and Jayoussi.

"...The last straw for Adham Amin Hassoun came this spring when a prison guard snatched a slip of paper with text from the Koran, then threw aside the Islamic holy book..."

Hassoun is an unhappy camper - it seems that he is fed up and feels 'intimidated' in prison

Next will be the CAIR press conference about the torture Hassoun experienced seeing his 'Koran tossed on the bed' and a soundbyte from Zakkout ( Hassoun's buddy from the American Muslim Association of North America), saying that Hassoun is a victim of discrimination...


MIM: Time for a new book called 'Prison for Dummies'

"...The attorney wants a federal judge to toss out the government's indictment against them based on evidence of "punitive" treatment by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.


Two men claim prison abuse

Two defendants in South Florida's most significant terrorism case claim prison officials have treated them so badly at the Miami Federal Detention Center that a federal judge should dismiss the cases.


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The federal government has kept him in solitary confinement for nearly a year. Searched his prison cell. Seized his yellow notebook. Scattered 8,000 pages of his legal documents. Photographed his Arabic writings.

The last straw for Adham Amin Hassoun came this spring when a prison guard snatched a slip of paper with text from the Koran, then threw aside the Islamic holy book.

"Displaying a lack of respect, the officer just tossed the Koran on the bed," Hassoun claims in court documents about his mistreatment.

Hassoun is neither an enemy combatant at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, nor a detainee in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. The 43-year-old Palestinian man, a former computer programmer from Sunrise, has been locked up since July 15, 2004, in a six-by-six foot cell at the Federal Detention Center in Miami.

His trial -- on charges of raising money at Broward County mosques for Muslim charities that allegedly financed Islamic terrorism abroad -- is still more than a year away.

He and co-defendant Kifah Wael Jayyousi, 43, a former Detroit schools administrator, have been charged with conspiring to provide financial support and recruits abroad for Islamic jihad, or holy war.

Federal prosecutors won't talk about the case. But Hassoun's attorney is arguing that the U.S. Bureau of Prisons is trampling the civil rights of both men -- even going so far as to photograph and confiscate written notes to be used in their defense.


The attorney wants a federal judge to toss out the government's indictment against them based on evidence of "punitive" treatment by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

"It's just been very intimidating for both of them," Hassoun's Miami lawyer, Kenneth Swartz, recently told U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke. "They feel completely violated."

Swartz first attempted to get some relief for Hassoun in March, asking the federal detention center to move him out of solitary confinement so he could receive routine privileges, such as visitation rights, telephone calls, educational programs, library services, religious guidance and counseling.

Jayyousi, who was added as a co-defendant to the indictment in April, is also in solitary confinement at the same Miami detention center. Like Hassoun, he claims prison guards seized his personal and legal handwritten notes. They later returned a letter to his wife and a prayer schedule, but retained all notes related to the case.

According to court records, the Bureau of Prisons said Hassoun was "placed in the Special Housing Unit for security concerns as perceived by the institution administration" and would "remain in the Special Housing Unit until such time as the administration determines there is no security threat."

Officials at the Miami Federal Detention Center did not return calls for comment on Friday.

Normally, the type of defendants placed in solitary confinement there are major drug suspects, such as convicted Miami kingpin Sal Magluta and currently the reputed Cali cartel founders, Gilberto and Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela.

Swartz and Jayyousi's attorney, William Swor, filed their motion on Wednesday that seeks to put the two Muslim men in the general prison population at the federal detention center or release them on bond and put them under house arrest until their trial.

They waited to make their legal move until the U.S. Attorney's Office discussed their clients' "laundry list of complaints" with the Bureau of Prisons. But federal prosecutor Russell Killinger apparently got nowhere. The U.S. Attorney's Office said Friday that it will respond to the defendants' court motion, but declined further comment.


The defendants' lawyers paint a grim picture of life in their "closet-like" cell at the SHU: "They are not allowed contact with each other or with any other inmates," according to court records. "Even their limited recreation time must be spent alone. As a result of their solitary confinement in the SHU they are being subjected to punitive treatment, and this punitive treatment has an adverse effect on their due process rights."

Among the complaints:

• Hassoun is allowed only one visit by an immediate family member for one hour per week. That visit must be on Mondays between noon and 3 p.m. His wife and three children now live in Lebanon, so the only visitor is his sister, who lives in Broward. But her husband and children cannot accompany her.

• Hassoun's telephone privileges are restricted to only one 15-minute call per week. During the brief call, he barely has enough time to greet his wife and children, who have not seen him in nearly one year.

• Hassoun has experienced long delays in receiving mail -- even correspondence from his sister in Broward takes at least one month to arrive. The mail he sends to his wife and children is delayed for similar periods. His family bought him a three-month newspaper subscription, but he received it for only one week.

• Hassoun's attorney can only meet him in one room in the SHU area, which is impractical because they must review thousands of documents, transcripts and translations; the only other choice is a visitation room, separated by glass with no desk space.


According to court records, Jayyousi has also experienced similar problems: He can make one 15-minute phone call per week, has received no mail, and because his two daughters are under 17 they cannot visit him.

Jayyousi claims he can only receive a visit from his immediate family on Monday mornings, which means members must fly in on Sunday night and stay in a hotel room. He has asked prison officials to let them visit on Monday afternoons, so they can fly in and out on the same day to save money.

"The defendants are being punished by their confinement to solitary conditions and by limiting their contact with family and the outside world," their court motion says.

'These punitive conditions are being imposed based upon the defendants' charges, but they also appear to be based partly upon the defendants' nationality and religious beliefs," the court motion continues.

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