Documentary project by a local Muslim woman on the historic case of Ahmed Abu-Ali launched in Washington DC aims to build awareness, seek justice for Northern Virginia youth serving life
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
With your support, we will make a short film to tell the world about my friend Ahmed Abu-Ali: Yearning to Breathe Free.
About My Friend
Ahmed is an American victim of the War on Terror. He once had a regular life as a youth group leader at my interfaith group, teacher at the weekend school, and American Red Cross Blood Donor. Now he is in Solitary Confinement at ADX Supermax prison. He has been wrongfully incarcerated since he was 22; now he is 31 years old.
Why his case matters
His case set many disturbing precedents:
It is OK to arrest an American citizen based on secret evidence alone
It is OK to use a video recorded in a foreign country as the sole piece of evidence in a U.S. courtroom
It is OK to admit evidence obtained by torture in a US courtroom
It is OK for witnesses to testify anonymously
Ahmed's case made it OK to deny an American of his basic rights as an American citizen—the right for a Miranda statement, the right to an attorney, the right to a speedy trial, the right to know your accuser, the right to know the evidence against you, and the protection from cruel and unusual punishments. In our U.S. courts, under the banner of liberty and justice for all, Ahmed has been stripped of his 4th, 5th and 6th amendment rights. Yearning to Breathe Free will tell his story with the hope of reversing these precedents for Ahmed, and all Americans now and in the future.
Ahmed was sentenced to life in solitary confinement even though his so called “conspiracies” in the words of judge Gerald Bruce Lee “did not result in a single actual victim.”
In less than 10 minutes, the film will take you on Ahmed's journey. Everyday, Ahmed still resides in a place only a few feet wider than a grave, and many times deeper: A grave is 6 feet deep 8 feet long and 3 feet wide. Ahmed's cell is 20 meters under ground, 8 feet long, and 12 feet wide.
The film will bring Ahmed to life. It will illustrate the effects of Ahmed's incarceration on his family, friends, and community; and our cherished American values that we take for granted.
Technical Note: Ahmed is under Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) a highly restrictive security measure on top of solitary confinement, which prohibits him from speaking, writing to, or seeing friends or reporters. Under U.S. law, SAMs are only allowed to be imposed for a maximum of 4 months, but a recent amendment has allowed these measures to be renewed. Ahmed has been under SAMs since he was first arrested (before he was tried), and these measures have been continuously renewed since. Therefore, we will not be able to film Ahmed directly. We will instead hear the voices and see the faces of those closest to him.
Support Yearning to Breathe Free and together we can make our pledge of allegiance something that we can all wholeheartedly believe in. Let’s bring to life liberty and justice for all. Please pledge today by visiting http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1700876626/yearning-to-breathe-free
For details on the case, visit http://writ.news.findlaw.com/cassel/20051107.html