Session with US lawyers on their study ‘Inventing Terrorists’

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Session with US lawyers on their study ‘Inventing Terrorists’

Two senior lawyers from the US visiting Islamabad have conferred that over 70 per cent terrorism conviction cases in United States were entrapped through ‘preemptive prosecution’.

 Majority terrorism convictions in US a result of ‘preemptive prosecution’: US lawyers

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Two senior lawyers from the US visiting Islamabad have conferred that over 70 per cent terrorism conviction cases in United States were entrapped through ‘preemptive prosecution’ – which is going after individuals who haven’t committed any crime but are only alleged to possess an ideology that might dispose them to commit acts of terrorism – while around 20 per cent of the cases were inflated by the government itself.

Stephen Downs and Kathy E. Manley, who have been advocating for civil freedom and social justice in US and have represented many such cases to date, said that majority of these cases were proceeded under the garb of ‘National Security Crisis’ where the ‘classified reports’, which weren’t even revealed to the defense prosecutors already having security clearance, served as the basis for the conviction.

Speaking at a session at the Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad they reflected upon their research titled ‘Inventing Terrorists’ which reveals that out of the 399 such convictions since the 9/11 incident, majority of which were Muslims, about 74 per cent were the result of sting operations against the people they assumed suspicious, and the cases were later handled in an unfair manner by using inconclusive evidences for the pre-intended jurisdictions.

One of the highest profiled incident among those was the case of Dr. Afia Siddiqui, who according to the speakers, was tortured, abused, enraged and then insanely sentenced for 86 years in prison for attempting a murder, a charge that normally yields a maximum of 10 years sentence only in the US.

The speakers laid the blame of such unjust prosecutions on Dick Cheney’s doctrine – also known as ‘one per cent doctrine’ – according to which a person having only one per cent chance for carrying out a terrorist activity, qualifies to be dealt under the ‘preemptive prosecution’ while terming it a ‘due process’. In reality, the speakers confessed, there were more probability for someone to be shot by a policeman than to be killed by a terrorist in America.

The law experts also presented many other cases relevant to the topic before the audience as evidence, and stressed on making concerted efforts by together raising a voice against such acts where suicide bombing was labeled horrible and inhumane while the drone strikes were termed fair and legal only to make the world believe that the terrorist army was on the loose in US.

Khalid Rahman, IPS director general, in his concluding remarks appreciated the work of the US lawyers and stressed for more connectivity between human rights activists and groups around the world for raising voices against injustices in the name of national security, which in fact are making humanity more and more insecure – and countering the narratives being fed to the common people by vested interests to further the hegemonic designs of those at the helm of global power. 

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