—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
WASHINGTON DC (July 20, 2011) – In a letter addressed to President Barack Obama by a coalition of seventeen (17) civil liberty organizations, the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms (NCPCF) called upon the President to appoint an Inspector General for the Department of Justice and launch an inquiry into potential political bias at DOJ.
In particular, the coalition invites transparency into whether the recent arrest of longtime Muslim-American leader and community activist Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai is a selective prosecution reflecting political motives.
Not only should Dr. Fai be afforded the presumption of innocence, but the timing of his indictment, coinciding with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s official visit to India, calls into question the basis for the arrest. Alleged failure to register as a foreign agent, in this case on behalf of Pakistan (which has long been considered a US ally), is commonly treated as an administrative violation.
In those instances where national security is actually threatened, criminal charges are appropriate. However, this does not appear to be the case here. Dr. Fai, on behalf of the Kashmiri American Council (KAC), has openly worked for over thirty years to educate the American public and elected officials about human rights issues in Kashmir. To suggest that his decades of transparent advocacy somehow threatens U.S. national security is spurious at best.
NCPCF strongly believes the government should not place itself in a situation where the timing and choosing of prosecutions undermines their legitimacy by reflecting selectivity and double standards, or political considerations. The Associated Press observed that “Though the charges are not related to espionage, the arrest adds new strain to the already difficult relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan.” Many independent observers see Dr. Fai as a victim of the strained relations between the CIA and the Pakistani intelligence services.
“We call upon you to seriously look into whether Dr. Fai was improperly targeted as a political activist in light of the political row developing in the last few months between the U.S. and Pakistan, and to empower the Inspector General of the Department of Justice to investigate any political bias by the FBI and the Office of US Attorneys,” wrote NCPCF Chairperson Dr. Agha Saeed in his letter to the President.
For media inquiries contact Ashraf W. Nubani at (855) 248-3733 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Established in October 2010, the NCPCF is a coalition of national and local organizations as well as prominent individuals, whose mission is: To educate the public about the erosion of civil and political freedoms in the society, and the abuses of prisoners within the U.S. criminal justice system especially after 9/11, and to advocate for the preservation of those freedoms and to defend those rights according to the U.S. Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its related UN Conventions, and the Geneva Conventions. ICNA Council for Social Justice is also a member of NCPCF.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. It serves as both a reminder of one of the most traumatizing occurrences to unfold on American soil and as a testimony to the resilience of every community living here in America.