Drama on the tarmac: US judge foils secret deportation to Israel | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Drama on the tarmac: US judge foils secret deportation to Israel

“Extreme injustice”
To give some perspective to the ordeal endured by Ashqar, in 2007, Lewis Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted of lying to a federal grand jury about the disclosure of the identity of a CIA agent.

Libby was sentenced to two and a half years, but didn’t spend a day in prison because President George W. Bush commuted his sentence.

Last year, President Donald Trump pardoned Libby altogether.

Ashqar, who wasn’t accused of perjury but of simply refusing to testify, spent more than a decade in prison.

Michael Deutsch, Muhammad Salah’s lawyer during the trial of Ashqar and Salah, wrote for The Electronic Intifada in 2008 about the “extreme injustice perpetrated on Abdelhaleem Ashqar by the US government and the federal court in Chicago culminating in a draconian sentence of 135 months for nonviolent acts of civil disobedience.”

Deutsch wrote that Ashqar’s “refusals to testify before investigative grand juries about his work and relationships with other Palestinians – in effect to become an informer against his people and his liberation movement – was part of a long history of resistance by activists in this country to ‘naming names’ of political associates before government investigative bodies.”

Indeed, Deutsch noted that in 1998, Ashqar spent eight months in prison for civil contempt “resulting from his unequivocal refusal to inform on others before a grand jury sitting in New York.”

“He was released after a judge found that his refusal was based on deeply held principles which would not be affected by further incarceration.”

Yet despite this, the US government continued to pursue, prosecute and persecute Ashqar, culminating in his indictment and incarceration.

Even after Ashqar completed his harsh sentence, the US continues to subject him to extreme injustice.

Note: This article has been updated since initial publication to include information that the US plan intended for Ashqar to be flown to Israel and then transferred to the West Bank.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Your government, ever abasing itself, answering the "siren call" of the alleged Israeli "justice System"; had the Israelis ever gotten hold of this man, he'd be dead by now.

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