When we first began corresponding with Khalid Awan in 2007, we had no idea why he was serving time in U.S federal prison.We soon discovered Awan was one of the first of thousands of Muslims taken prisoner in the post-9/11 U.S “terror War”. As the story began unfolding in our letters, we began to realize that this honest, humble and sincere man was not only innocent, but the ongoing injustice being done to him provides critical insight into the mindless, mean-spirited, bureaucratic-yes-men idiocy fueling the illegal U.S. “War on Terror” (and just about everything else that is going wrong in this country). At our insistence, Awan wrote his story and supplied us with whatever documents we requested. And now, after three months of cooperative efforts, the story of Khalid Awan can be told. We have come to know Awan as a peaceful man engaged in peaceful work, who has been wrongfully accused, detained and repeatedly convicted of crimes he did not commit because he was a Muslim with international connections and an office in New York on 9/11. Anyone who might of the Muslim belief, especially a person raised overseas who has difficulty understanding our language and our corrupt judicial system, can be arrested and detained indefinitely in this country, certainly without a trial before a jury of his peers. Khalid is one of these Muslims.
We present this to you in faith that you will realize a deeper understanding of the levels of complicity necessary for the “land of free” to tolerate the phony war on terror year after year and in hope that Awan — and all the other million or more political prisoners being held by this country—will one day be reunited with their families.
Khalid Qayyum Awan (From USA Federal Prison)
My name is Khalid Qayyum Awan. My rights have been eroded in the name of National Security. Since I am a Muslim, my story has been written, produced, directed, choreographed and stage-designed by the U.S. Government officials.
QUOTE FROM ABRAHAM LINCOLIN: “All men stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character give him a power.”
The Department of Justice and the FBI have been under pressure by the Bush Administration to find “terrorists” in this country and to preemptively convict them before they can strike at the U.S. Although there is good evidence that there are few, if any, potential terrorists in the Muslim communities of the United States, U.S. attorneys, who are not able to find any real “terrorists” target, prosecute and convict innocent Muslims on phony or inflated criminal charges in an unfair and discriminatory manner. They
do this to show they are politically “loyal to the president Bush “. These prosecutions have destroyed families and communities nationwide in a country that is renowned for its human rights activities around the world.
I am a Canadian citizen and native of Pakistan. I was born in 1962 in a small village, full of ancient history. I am the only son of my parents, and have three younger sisters. Throughout my life, my family was (and still is) very liberal, even while living in Pakistan. I studied in Catholic Christian Schools including St. Mary’s school in Rawalpindi, and the Cathedral School in Lahore, as well as the Foremen Christian College in Lahore. I received my Masters Degree in Political Science at the Pakistan University of Karachi. Throughout my academic life, I read the Bible every morning, at college assemblies and Noble Quran at home. I am one of the initial members of Pakistan Human Rights Commission, as a result of my belief in humanity and its equality, apart from any religion. Humanity is my first priority. Because of this, instead of strict religious belief and political stand, I left Pakistan and moved to Canada. I came to this continent in 1993 and became a Canadian citizen in 1996, where I worked as an immigration consultant and was a member of the Canadian Bar Association. As part of my business, I also had an office in New York, which is where I was on September 11, 2001.
Soon after the September 11the event, the US government arrested me in my home in Garden City, NY, on October 25, 2001. They claimed they had received an anonymous tip that I had been seen with ‘Marwan Al-shehi’ who was purportedly one of the accused 9/11 hijackers” at my previous place of residence. The FBI was took my name from old lease papers by the apartment management office after receiving the call. Although I had no prior criminal history, five agents entered my house without knocking, yelled at me to drop whatever was in my hand or they would shoot me, and forced me to lie on the ground while they handcuffed me and stood on me.
I was taken in front of Southern District of New York Judge Michael Mukasey, (later became Attorney General of the US in Bush regime)). After a detailed investigation by the FBI and US Naval Intelligence, I was supposedly cleared of all charges. I was then put in front of a Grand Jury and after approximately four hours of continuous investigative questioning, I was cleared again and the case was dismissed in US Federal Court on November 05, 2001.
Charge # 2
Before I was released from custody, on November 05, 2001,on the same day on Nov 5, 2001 the US Government imposed new charges: “Conspiracy to Commit Fraud and Money Laundering”. They alleged that I stole/misused the identity profile of my clients, who come seeking my services for getting Canadian Visas and citizenship in the US, although there was not a single complaint from either any of my clients or any bank.
My lawyer, Steven K. Frankel, advised me verbally and in writing to plead guilty, telling me it was in my own best interests. He said, “Although it is not fair, Suffolk County (New York) juries and the courts view a case like this, (being a Muslim, and a native of Pakistan), these are not times in which you would receive any sympathy”. He said, had I not entered a guilty plea to this count, I would be “facing ten years on the money laundering account”.
As journalist and former Assistant Treasury Secretary Dr. Paul Craig Roberts states in his 12/11/06 column, “America’s Injustice System is Criminal:” The criminal justice system today consists of a process whereby a defendant is coerced into admitting to a crime in order to escape more severe punishment for maintaining his innocence. Many of the crimes for which people are imprisoned never occurred. They are made-up crimes created by the process of negotiation to close a case.
Every defense attorney knows that today prosecutors can purchase testimony against a defendant by paying a “witness” with money, dropping charges, or reduced time to testify against the defendant. Prosecutors routinely withhold exculpatory evidence and suborn perjury. Generally, jurors trust prosecutors and are unaware of their inventory of dirty tricks.
So since I had already served 17 months in detention, I pled guilty in Fatico Hearing (trial with judge and no jury), to $95,000 of fraud conspiracy, which carried a maximum sentence of 15 to 24 months. In my case, the plea agreement was not even honored. I was sentenced to five years, the sentence for approximately US$ 2.5 Million in credit card fraud “CONSPIRACY”, where neither actual complaint nor proof of loss exists.
Appeal to Canada
Finally sentenced and designated to Allenwood Federal Correction Institute in Pennsylvania, in January, 2005, I had fourteen months left. I decided not to appeal because if a case is in appeal, a defendant is not eligible to transfer back to his home country. Instead, I applied for a Treaty Transfer to Canada. Surprise! I learned from my case manager Ms. Hause that my citizenship was listed in the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ (FBOP) computer as Pakistani instead of Canadian. All my Canadian documentation – passport, citizenship card, social insurance and health cards, and my Canadian drivers license –were in the possession of the FBI. Greatly concerned, I wrote the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo, NY to request that they fix this problem so I could be transferred back to Canada. On March 30, 2005, the Canadian Consulate sent a letter to the jail to correct my citizenship status, but the FBOP ignored the request and did not correct the computer.
I realize now that FBOP intentionally left my citizenship status as Pakistani, making me ineligible to transfer to Canada so they could keep me at their prison facility while the government prepared to file new charges against me.
Finally on January 30, 2006, six weeks before my release date, I was transferred from Allenwood prison to the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, NY, supposedly in preparation for my deportation back to Canada. I signed the immigration deportation papers, which incidentally, contained my correct citizenship status, with my FBOP Consular, Miss Chen. I found out later from the court papers that the Allenwood prison warden had been given a summons during January, 2006, requesting for me to appear on February 15, 2006, before the court in Brooklyn, New York according to( writ of habeas corpus),for my appearance in front of Grand Jury, signed by the Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Lawrence Ferazani.(But prosecutor did not put me in front of any grand jury as he mentioned in the document).
Family Threatened by RCMP & FBI
Once in Brooklyn, on January 31, 2006 I phoned my family in Montreal Canada. At that time I learned that a police officer, Officer Buttazzoni from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) had contacted my sister and brother-in-law regarding the whereabouts of my wife, from whom I had been separated since 2001. They told him that she had returned to Pakistan. There was no explanation given by Buttazzoni as to the purpose of the call, and he left his phone number with my brother-in-law, telling him to please have my wife call him back immediately. My wife called Buttazzoni several times and left messages on his voice mail, after which Buttazzoni told my brother-in-law to tell her not to call him again. During these calls officer Buttazzoni, collected the whereabouts of my family, from my family members and forwarded to USA Federal prosecutor/FBI.(which was provided to him on good faith, being a honest and responsible Canadian citizens). RCMP also committed this kind of discriminated crimes against others Muslims in Canada in the name of so called “war on Terror” and forwarded the personal information of Canadian citizens, like Mr.Maher Arar, Mr.Abdullah Almalki, Mr.Ahmed El Maati to another countries like USA, Syria, U.K and Egypt, only being Muslims. Interrogators in Egypt also allegedly knew particulars details about Ahmed Maati’s life, such as the make and colour of his car. Then on February 17, 2006 I was brought by Federal Prosecutor Ferazani and four other investigators including FBI to an office in New York to be interrogated, without an attorney present. I was told by the AUSA officer that if I did not talk they would arrest my sisters in Montreal and my wife in Pakistan. He said, “We just have to make a call”. I was surprised and scared that he knew where my family lived. He said, “If you don’t tell me (what I want to know) I can recommend lethal injection to the court and call the press, and tomorrow morning you will in every newspaper as a big terrorist”. Another Federal Agent from the same interrogation team told me that if I did not co-operate, they would turn me over to the Indian Government, an enemy of Pakistan, which would view me as an enemy. “You know better than I do what they can do with you”, he said. At this time I was certain that my family was in danger because they were living in countries (Pakistan and Canada) that work closely with US Law Enforcement and Intelligence agencies. I was scared they would be harassed by these people as well as by the Canadian police for reasons that I did not know. I strongly believed the RCMP was working in collaboration with the FBI to harass me to admit to charges of crimes that I did not commit.
And the person like my situation, who had been summonally arrested himself as the material witness of 9/11 in 2001 ,and still has not see the light of day beyond prison walls, had every reason to believe the threats made against my family with the help of RCMP is true. In addition, after experiencing my liberty evaporate after fulfilling the terms of world Trade Center material witness. I had every reason to believe in the overarching power of government to secure the arrest of my family and inflict the most severe punishment on them. Because I felt like I had no other choice, I signed “Miranda Rights” forms the agent gave it to me, waiving my right to an attorney’s presence during questioning and interrogating to spoke with FBI on Feb 17 and 20, 2006.
But FBI forgot to get my signature’s under my that statements, which they prepared and fabricated by their self. (Unfortunately Miranda Rights forms supersede this signature issue claim, unless the defendant proof that he signed under coercion).
(Now this was verified over two years later in commission documents dated April 23, 2008, where the Canadian Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP in Ottawa, Canada ruled that Buttazzoni did not harass my family because their collaboration with the FBI was “reasonable under the circumstances of this case”, even though no documents have been provided to explain the basis on which it was reasonable to harass their own citizens).
RCMP commission admitted and stated in their final Report dated April 23, 2008 that review of the investigation documents reveals that:-
officer Buttazzoni did contact Mr. Awan’s family members at the request of the FBI;
the evidence shows that on two occasions officer Buttazzoni was tasked with following up on the FBI’s request for assistance;
(in fact officer Buttazzoni called more than two times, but here he only admitted twice)
FBI request for assistance, which was initially sent to RCMP National Security operations Branch in Ottawa, and sent to Montreal and assigned to officer Buttazzoni;
Officer Buttazzoni tried to set up meetings between FBI and those family members he had contacted;
Commission further stated that contacting Mr. Awan’s family of the INSET unit and reasonable under the circumstances.
But commission refused and failed to answer my following questions, that why;-
and when officer Buttazzoni called?
what kind of documents and proof received by RCMP and officer from the FBI to start calling my family members, collect their personal data and why forwarded to FBI?
why RCMP not contacted directly to me?
what kind of meeting, officer Buttazzoni, tried to set-up between FBI and my family members, on the behalf of what documents and proofs he received from FBI, against me? Or only received this information that these peoples are Pakistani’s and Muslims?
I AM STILL WAITING FOR THESE ANSWERS, THESE ANSWERS ARE VERY IMPORTANT FOR ME, FOR DISMISSAL OF MY CASE IN USA, AND GET JUSTICE. BECAUSE CONTRARY TO THIS, FBI TESTIFIED IN THE FEDERAL COURT, THAT THEY NEVER THREATENED ME, TO ARREST MY FAMILY MEMBERS IN MONTREAL ,WITH THE HELP OF RCMP, AT THE TIME OF THEIR INTERROGATION TO GET MY SIGNATURE’S ON THE ‘MIRANDA RIGHTS’ WAIVER FORMS, AND ESTABLISHED A CASE AGAINST ME.THEY (RCMP) ARE ONLY COVERING UP THEIR MISTAKE BY REFUSING TO CERTIFY ANSWERS TO THE 4-QUESTIONS MENTIONED ABOVE.IT APPEARS DISCRIMINATION MAY WELL BE A MOTIVATING FACTOR.RCMP’s ACTION GIVE THE APPEARANCE OF DISCRIMINATION DUE TO MY, AND MY FAMILYS’ RACE,CULTURAL HERTIGAE AND RELIGEON.
February 17, 2006 – Interrogation … and bribe
I was intimidated and pushed to the edge during this interrogation. Because of their numerous explicit and implicit threats, I believed I would be facing the death penalty if I refused to speak. Even though I could not answer all of their questions, I was determined to provide anything the US officials wanted to make them happy, even if the questions made no sense.
During this interrogation, the agents offered me to work for them in an “under cover capacity” abroad in Pakistan and Canada. And further they wanted me to testify against a group of Sikh people living in USA, and Pakistan ISI (Pakistan Army Intelligence Services), that they take care of terrorist groups, on fabricated statements,(which they prepared) based on my association with them from when I lived in Pakistan. I refused. So they told me to keep in mind that they wanted me to testify against people who are of the Sikh religion, not from my country, but from India, an enemy of Pakistan, and, because I am a Muslim, I should not have any concern with them. They asked me, “What is your problem with giving statements against them in court”? I said, “But they are human beings! If they did something wrong and I knew about it, I would be more than happy to help the law but you are asking me about something which I know nothing about”.
After my refusal to work for the government on their fabricated statements, the agents waited a couple weeks and then started asking me again, through my attorney. Upon my continuous refusal, Officer Buttazzoni in Montreal again began to approach my family. This time he contacted two sisters instead of one, and told them to come to his office, separately to indirectly put pressure on me to work with them. I told my family when I spoke to them on the phone from jail to get an attorney and not to go to Buttazzoni’s office without a legal written notice from him. They followed my advice, and the RCMP stopped calling them; but not before the FBI was able to achieve its goal of creating a self-incriminating statement from me based on “evidence” they secured during their interrogation of me without the presence of my attorney. The only reason I signed the Miranda Rights waiver was because of the coercion of the RCMP and FBI conspiracy to set me up. Although the FBI did not convince me to work for them, (along-with lot of benefits, like money, green cards to my entire family etc and all kind of protection) against other people and any government’s if I, work abroad and testified against Pakistan army intelligence (ISI) as a result of my refusal prosecutors were able to go in front of a Grand Jury and indicted me, based on my own (fabricated) statements, prepared by federal agents without my signature. In the last few years, I have observed that whenever North American police use and apply this kind of vengeful, inhumane, threatening, pride and ego abusive methods on any human being, they call their sophisticated abuses “investigative techniques” to legally justify their mistakes and violations of the law.
After my refusal to testify against the Sikh peoples and Pakistan army intelligence (ISI),on their fabricated case and statements, Federal prosecutors brought the on duty Indian Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr. Iqbal Singh of Indian Punjab Police Department, as their expert witness, with the permission and approval of Indian Government (according to court papers), to testified in the open federal court of New York against Pakistan and Pakistani army intelligence,(who is the best ally of USA government and worked and working as front line ,in the war of terror, for USA according to the repeatedly statements and acknowledgements of USA government high officials and President Bush as well). During his entire testimony, he never testified or said any single word about or against me, nor discussed any issue related to me.
During his testimony, in open Federal court of New York he testified and explained the:-
structure and reason of the birth of various Sikh organizations;
about the attack of Indian army on their Sikh holy places in early 1980’s;
he also motioned and mentioned and testified about the names of Sikh’s, Mr. Gurbax Singh and Mr. Pritpal Singh, whom names were mentioned in my “BILL OF PARTICULAR’S” related to my Indictment, that they are wanted by the Indian Government
he also testified that the leader of Mr. Prem Jeet Singh, runs the radio programme from Pakistan Radio Station, in Lahore named “PUNJABI DARBAR” which was widely listetned in East Indian Punjab side;
and Mr.PMJ is wanted by the Indian government for various crimes (who is not convicted yet on any charge yet)
and further, Pakistan army intelligence (ISI) is taking care of him, and providing him money, shelter, training, arms and ammunition, to attack the India;
and lot of another things about and against Pakistan.
Third charge March 16, 2006
On March 16, 2006, I completed the term of my imprisonment and was to be released from American custody and deported back to Canada. Before I could even go out onto the street I was arrested a third time and charged with “Conspiracy to Provide Material Support”, “Providing Material Support to a Foreign Terrorist”, and “Money Laundering to Support Terrorism”, for supposedly providing support to the Sikh organization Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) leader, Mr. Paramjit Singh Panjwar (PMJ), whom I met once when visiting Pakistan, and with whom I do not have any common interests because we are from different countries, different cultures, and different religions.
I have been charged under section 2339 (a) Title of United States code, which makes it illegal to provide material support to a foreign terrorist. I believe that I am a victim of the discrimination that was outlined in the July 3rd, 2006 issue of weekly Time magazine. On its page No:29, column 3. In this article section 2339(a) and (b) are discussed and criticized:-
“as most suspects are charged under these two sections. However the justice Department here in America admits that of the more than 2218 guilty pleas that it has obtained, most are for minor investigation issues that are uncovered dealing the course of their terrorism investigation. This suggest, according to the article that the Attorney General’s office have is not concerned about the rights or fairness or the manner in which it achieves convictions for the people they arrest. Furthermore, criticizes have noted that one of the patterns to emerge from these domestic prosecutions that suspects seen too incompetent to carry out the deeds they are accused of The Deputy attorney General acknowledges that the Dept of justice goal is “PREVENTIONS THROUGH PROSECUTIONS” did this is done within regard for an individual’s rights.
I agree that these guilty of terrorism should be prosecuted. But as the above mentioned article suggest, innocent people should not be targeted because of their race and religion. I am not a terrorist and I should not be targeted and treated unfairly and unjustly.
The same day, on March 16, 2006 Federal Prosecutor, told the Judge, that he had arranged for an attorney for me before I had arrived from Allenwood prison in Jan 2006, stating that he wanted to “protect” me because I “clearly had criminal exposure” But in fact on Feb. 17 and 20, 2006, after government obtained the statements from me, under coercion with the help of Canadian RCMP, government approached a U.S. Magistrate Judge for appointment of council for me.
These charges emerged while I was still in prison, and had no capability to provide KCF with any kind of support. In the plea agreement I signed for my previous “money laundering” charge (from Jan 1999 to April 2002), it is mentioned that no further money laundering charges would be brought against me, and when the government indicated me again for money laundering from 1998 to 2001, it was double jeopardy and a violation of the 5th Amendment of the Constitution. The Government conveniently has used the prior prosecution as both a sword and shield depending on its tactical goal. The Government/Prosecutor, maintains that the prior fraud prosecution is interrogated with the instant prosecution in various ways, from overlapping physical evidence.
During my arraignment for this new fabricated case, on March 16, 2006, the federal prosecutors told the judge in the court on March 16, 2006 during my first court appearance:-
THE COURT: If you don’t come to some accord you anticipate other people, other people are going to join in this matter.
AUSA: (FEDERAL PROSECUTOR): There are two individuals that we have identified as potentially being joined. Yet at this stage we don’t have sufficient evidence to charge.
After my refusal to work for the government on their fabricated statements against these “two individuals” (as explained above by the prosecutor), who are belongs to Sikh religion, and further prosecutor and federal investigator had been after these two Sikhs, since 2000 (who were also organizers and leader of North American Khalistan Commando Force). Since 2000 to 2006 the federal investigator and prosecutor called them in their office more than 10 times, but failed to charge them.
After my refusal to use me against them on fabricated statements, federal investigator/AUSA went to them and this time Indicted them, according to their will and wish, by giving them a lot of benefits, and prepared them to testified against me during trial, that they both gave me two thousand U.S dollars in 2000 and 2001,to transfer them to their Sikh leader living in Lahore, Pakistan, and further they also testified that Pakistani army intelligence is helping their Sikh leader in Pakistan and also giving a training, to fight against India.
Interesting part of this game was this, that these two Sikh’s were that “TWO INDIVIDUALS” for which federal prosecutor told to the judge that “we don’t have sufficient evidence to charge them”. That they had “two individuals” they had identified as “potentially to be joined in this matter, but at this stage we don’t have enough evidence to charge”.
And on the same day on March 16, 2006 prosecutor told the Judge in the court, that they needed intercepts obtained through FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Secrecy Act), claiming the “counts against this defendant are complex” because the recordings were in foreign languages – Punjabi and Urdu. However, three months later on June 29, 2006, when my new attorneys requested a copy of the FISA disks, for the purpose of determining whether the government had unlawfully gathered any exculpatory or inculpatory evidence against me, the prosecutor responded that he did not have a single FISA recording against me.
August 2006 – Administrative Detention
I appeared in court and pled “not-guilty” for my Second Superseding Indictment on August 2, 2006. Upon my continuous refusal to work for the government on their fabricated statements against the Sikh people, on August 03, 2006, FBOP officials placed me into the Segregation Housing Unit (SHU), on order of the prosecutor, “based on all the circumstances that the above named inmate’s continued presence in the general population poses a serious threat to life, property, self, staff, other inmates, or to the security or orderly running of the institution”.
For 310 days of segregation and isolation, I did not have access to a phone to call my family or to make legal calls to my attorney nor access to copies of my legal work or a typewriter or ink pen; my legal mail was opened in my absence on a regular basis, my incoming and outgoing family mail was held for months and my newspapers and magazines were not delivered; I received no medical treatment for my injured shoulder nor access to my eyeglasses, and my medications were switched with those of another inmate; the main water line of my cell was shut down; I was strip-searched after legal visits; I was put in the recreation cage during rain, placed in a cell with a leaky ceiling, ordered not cover my face when I was cold, alternately put into cells with no lights or with lights on all the time; sheets and blankets were not changed for months; and they put me on psychiatric medication so I would stop complaining. All this despite the fact that I was rated a “low security” inmate on the government’s “Male Custody Classification Form”. There were a lot of other continuous tortures. I went on a hunger strike for four days, and after that I filed various complaints with the FBOP higher authorities, but no action was taken.
After my refusal to work for the government on their fabricated case against the “two individuals” who belonged to the Sikh religion, the government went to them and indicated them and, giving them a lot of benefits, prepared them to testify against me.
During my pre-trial bearing, on the motions filed after a lot of research by my wonderful attorneys Khurram B. Wahid and Sean M. Maher, the first two counts of my indictment; 1) Conspiracy to Provide Material Support, and 2) Providing Material Support to a foreign Terrorist, were dismissed by the Senior Federal District Judge, due to lack of facts and figures. Within two weeks, AUSA indicted me again, probably to cover up for their huge embarrassment. This hastily drawn up indictment was also full of factual errors and creative legal theories. This time, in the Bill of Particular/Indictment, AUSA included the names of the following participants as co-conspirators in this “conspiracy”.
Paramjit Singh Panjwar – Leader of Sikh Khalistan Commando Force (KCF), residing in Pakistan (not indicted)
Gurbax Singh – Indicted as co-conspirator # 1
Baljinder Singh – Indicted as co-conspirator # 2
Jatinder Singh – Residing in Texas (not indicted)
Dr. Pritpal Singh – Residing in California (not indicted)
Except me, all the ‘co-conspirators’ are elected leaders of the Sikh religion, a group of people known in Pakistani history books as the worst killers and rapists of the Pakistani nation, having, killed, raped, burned and cut into pieces a hundred thousand Muslim men, women, girls, boys and infants during the world’s largest migration from India to Pakistan in 1947.
Pakistani history books, movies, dramas and school academic books telling and keep reminding these barbaric acts of Sikhs to each and every Pakistani. And I am charged for helping enemies of my nation and country, WHAT A JOKE?
Sikh Background (a little history)
If we examine the international map we are to see India surrounded by its estranged neighbours China, Nepal, Bangledesh, Sri-lanka, Bhutan, Myanmar and Pakistan. This array of countries holds customs and beliefs as Muslims, some communists, Buddhaists, Hindus. All have long standing differences and are largely in conflict with India. Can we possibly believe these conflicts and differences are not in some way rooted at least in part in India? Can all of these neighbours always be wrong and India always right? Or is the greater probability India must at least share responsibility for these seemingly endless contentions?
Sources available to me seem to support the fact that India consists of 608 Districts. Of those, we see that in at least 231 Districts an array of active organizations and groups are functioning as separatists in contrast to India central authority. This it would seem is fueled by the atrocities perpetrated by Indian government fundamentalists, especially prosecution of minorities. These factors it can be asserted are deeply ex-trenched in India’s majority devotion to ancient class based prejudices, which enshrine a standard of violations of Human Rights as justified in ideology against the lower classes and minorities. Among those so discriminated against is KCF (Khalistan Commando Force).
From the mid-1980s to the mid – 1990s, the decade of violent political opposition in Punjab, an area divided between India and Pakistan, and its pattern of unlawful and indiscriminate arrests and killings have left a legacy of “catch and kill” police practices in the state.
The militancy period began in the early 1980s when a movement within the Sikh community in the Punjab state of India turned to violence attempting to achieve an independent state for the Sikhs, which they would call Khalistan. Their political representatives, the Akali Dal launched a civil disobedience campaign against a decision to divert a river vital to the Sikh farmers within the state. A number of Sikh organizations were banned and their leaders took shelter in the Sikh holy place called the Golden Temple, where sick people and infants were also getting blessings. The Indian army attacked the Golden Temple, and about 10,000 civilian lives were lost.
The protest that followed the Golden Temple attach were retaliated by Indian army and police arrests and killing of approximately 40,000 Sikh people all over Punjab, according to the Amnesty International report. Hundreds of people were detained without charge or trial, and thousands of “disappearances” and extrajudicial executions were carried out by the police.
As a result, thousands of Sikhs fled to various countries as a refuge. The countries that accepted Sikhs on political asylum and issued them permanent residence included France, United Kingdom, Germany Belgium, Australia, Canada, Pakistan and the United States. Many of the Sikhs who were living near Pakistan took refuge inside Pakistan, having the advantage of speaking the same language and many established holy places where Sikhs from all over the world to come annually to perform their pilgrimage to the Pakistan side of the Punjab State. Pakistan is like a Vatican for the Sikhs, because the Sikh religion was started there and it was the birthplace of their holy Guru.
Paramjit Singh Panjwar (PMJ)
Among these Sikhs, PMJ also took refuge after members of his family were arrested and killed by the Indian police. After his arrival in Pakistan he started producing videos about the attacks and killings of Sikhs by the Indian police, and started printing and distribution literature on the Sikh problems at the hand of the Indian government. He also started broadcasting a daily radio program called “Punjabi Darbar”, from a Pakistan government station that is widely listened to in both Punjab Pakistan and India, and started running various charities for Sikh families in India and Pakistan whose bread-winning family members had been killed by the Indian government just for being Sikhs.
I met PMJ on a visit to Pakistan, when he was living next to my brother-in-law there, and I invited him to my sister’s wedding. He wrote his phone number down for me on a piece of paper, plus that of Baljinder Singh, his friend who lived in New York, who was community advocate for the Sikh people that might refer clients to me for immigration purposes. I kept the number, but did not call him.
The FBI had been after Baljinder Singh since 2000, after he delivered a speech in front of the White House to the North American Sikh people at the “Sikh Million March” on Washington that year. The FBI had called him over 10 times for interrogation from 2000 to 2006, but was unable to arrest him. When they interrogated me on February 17, 2006, they told me they needed me to testify in court that the Pakistani government was taking care of terrorists in Pakistan. It was Baljinder Singh, and Gurbax Singh, a close relative of PMJ, that they wanted me to testify against them, since FBI found his and PMJ’s phone numbers on a piece of paper – not even in my phone book – during their search of each and every inch of my office and home in New York after my arrest in 2001,which was given to me by Mr. PMJ, that Baljinder Singh who lived in New York, and a community advocate for the Sikh people in the USA, might refer clients to me for immigration purpose. I kept that phone number, but did not call him. After finding this phone number FBI deputized their paid Sikh informant, Harjit Singh, into my unit at MDC in 2003-2004. And paid him US$.20,000/= (to asked, record and discussed various political related discussion, about Pakistan- -India and Sikh peoples, who visited every year to Pakistan, from all over the world for their pilgrimage, and later he made its own definitions and translation, in the court of this recorded conversation, for successfully establishing a charge against me), in lieu of receiving a US$ 20,000/ cash and green cards for him, his family members, living in India.
One day he told me during routine conversation, while he was recording me, with the FBI provided hidden device, that he was going to be released from federal custody in the next six months, and he wished to visit Pakistan for the Sikh Pilgrimage and visit all the holy places there. He asked me if I knew some Sikh in Pakistan who might take care of him during his visit. I replied that I did know a Sikh, Paramjit Singh Panjwar, who moved from India to Pakistan, who was living there on Political Asylum and who was also my brother-in-law’s neighbor. Harjit Singh told me he’d heard about this person in the news, and asked me to please introduce him over the phone so he could stay with him which I did.
The FBI then went to Baljinder and Gurbax Singh and convinced them to testify that I had transferred $4000 from them to Pakistan on behalf of PMJ. In exchange for this, Prosecutor dropped the charges they had against them and promised amnesty from the Indian government (protection from Interpol for armed attack on Indian police and murdering the police informant in India named Mr. P. Paul Singh) and green cards for them and their families, so these criminals and International wanted fugitive’s can live free in the U.S society.
PMJ has not been indicted by the USA, nor convicted by the Indian courts of anything. No effort has been spent for his extradition from Pakistan by the Pakistani government, and ally of the US in their “war on terror” that has handed over 7000 of their own Pakistani Muslim citizens to the US government, according to Amnesty International report in 2005. According to my attorneys, papers filed in a court stated that, no American citizen of the Christian faith has even been arrested for providing material support to the KCF, nor has any person of the Sikh faith, despite the fact that the KCF is a Sikh organization that draws its support from members of the Sikh community.
I, on the other hand, a Canadian citizen of Pakistan origin and Muslim faith, was convicted on fake, fabricated and government purchased testimonies of Sikh’s religious people. On September 12, 2007 for transferring $2000 + $2000=US$ 4000.00, I was sentenced as follows:
Conspiracy to provide material support 14 years (transferring $2000/= in 2001 from Baljinder Singh)
Providing material support to foreign terrorists 10 years (transferring $2000/=in 2000 from Gurbax Singh)
Money laundering to support terrorism 14 years (transferring total $4000/= as mentioned above)
Total: 38 years – to run concurrently = 14 years in prison.
During the trial, in the court Mr. Gurbax Singh testified that after giving me $2000/= for transferred to Pakistan (to his cousin) thereafter he, again raised money in New York and given to “Mr. Thillol Harban Singh” (HARBANS) to transfer to Pakistan.
Interestingly, I was sentenced on the Gurbax Singh fake testimony, but on Gurbax Singh same kind of testimony against another Sikh Harbans, was not charged for the same or any other crime, because he was not Pakistani and Muslim.
I am mentioning the dissent opinion of ( Circuit/High court, Federal Judge Gregory) from one, case No: “United States V. Hammound 381 F3d 316 (4th Circuit 2004)” stating:-
In recommending as much, I do not seek to give comfort to terrorist organizations, or to diminish the reality of clear and present threats posed by such groups. To the contrary, I seek to up held the constitution in a manner that does not harken back to a bleaker era of American history, when characters were impugned and individual indicted, convicted and punished based on little more than suspicion, association and fear without the “present guilt” which is the HALL MARK OF OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE STSTEM.
As of that date, I was the only person in the USA to be convicted of terrorism. The Federal District Judge dismissed my terrorism-related enhancements, stating “I cannot find from evidence before me that the defendant was motivated by a desire to influence or retaliate… the motivational element of a ‘federal crime of terrorism’, is not demonstrated”. He recommended, at my request, for me to be placed in Fort Dix Prison in New Jersey or another nearby prison in New York. But Federal Bureau of Prison transferred me in Indiana prison complex, in which one small part was isolated for Muslims and political prisoners.
SPANISH PROVERB: Laws, like the spider’s web, catch the fly and let the hawk go FREE
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, Former Assistant Treasury Secretary in USA, in his article mentioned above, states Prosecutors have lost sight of innocence and guilt. What we have today is a conveyor belt that convicts almost everyone who is charged. In the US, criminal justice has more to do with ruining people than with punishing criminals, and further stated that generally jurors trust prosecutors and are unaware of their (prosecutor) inventory of dirty tricks. The prosecutors’ career depends on his conviction rate, not on discovering the guilt or innocence of the accused.
The Degree of Civilization in a Society can be judged by entering its prison (Distoevski—The House of Dead)
After my sentence, the government was still not happy. There is no justice or constitutional rights for someone like me, being a foreigner and a Muslim. I have been in the Federal Prison system for six years and do not have a single disciplinary ticket on my record and have primarily spent my jail time in normal jails in the “low” category. But after I was charged with this new crime and refused to work for the government I have become a dangerous person in the government records and on August 23, 2007 was placed in administrative detention “for high security concerns”, even in my more than seven years of incarceration, I don’t have any single disciplinary complaint/ticket on my record. I have nicknamed myself “TOP” – (Terrorist on Paper).
The government sent me to FCI Terre Haute Prison in Indiana, a “medium” prison with the exception of one isolated unit, called the “Guantanamo Bay on American Soil”, Unit D, which is why jail official write “dog unit” on our commissary bags, medication, and so forth. Only Muslim inmates are placed here; except when the media started writing about discrimination on the part of the BOP, seven foreign Christian prisoners were also placed in this unit.
According to the history of this jail/unit, it was built in the 1930s for Cuban people, after which it was used for convicted members of the Ku Klux Klan. Then it was used for death row inmates until its “permanent closure”, the unit /place I live to be called “Death Row”. Every day I imagine how many people before me were locked in my cell, sleeping on the same bed, until they finally received the death penalty/executed. Everywhere the building is telling me about those who died, I cannot forget it. (I read in the paper, that in Germany someone killed his wife and still after 2-years the landlord cannot find anyone willing to rent the house because someone was killed there. I am sure that many people were living in my cell, sleeping on the same bed I used and waited here for death until it finally comes for them).
To me it is clear that the Government separated us out from normal prisons and prisoners life and put us here for their reason. Most of the peoples here are victims of the Govt., who targeted them and set them up. Then during the prosecution they claimed that these peoples are dangerous, intent to harm American’s and would support terrorist’s So now to keep the charade going they must open a special unit and claim we are dangerous to be in general population/regular jails. Locking us down in this dirty old and cold leaking building and prohibiting us from hugging our children and putting restriction to call our kids often, never bring peace to this country and will never made this nation safer, but it is really putting the justice system in this country on trial.
Sometime in my cell, I talk with myself and laugh that what kind of terrorist’s we are in this prison and in U.S government system, who were and who are living in USA along-with their families, school going kids and infants. I strongly believe that terrorists are not that stupid, who come in this country “GOD FORBID” with intention or planning for terrorism and destruction purpose. Why would they brings their families/kids with them, instead of coming alone, because without their families and kids they feel more confidant and comfortable to do something wrong.
This is a common sense question, but till now I did not find the answers, and no one wants to listen or think about it?
This jail was re-opened with minor repairs for Muslim inmates, because they are worse than the death-row inmates, not because of their fabricated crimes but because of their religious beliefs. We are denied many privileges according to BOP policy because we are Muslims, including “no contact visits” – must be through glass; phone calls are routed through Washington D.C. for translation, and only one 15 minutes call is allowed per week, and all incoming and outgoing mail is scanned by Washington D.C. The buildings are old and leaking, the windows don’t close properly so it cold in the winter; there is poor air circulation and flying insects in the summer; melted lead is coming out of the walls and many inmates have joint pain.
The government does this to us intentionally to goad us to act violently so they can justify their claim that we are dangerous, but they have failed. According to the jail guards this Muslim unit is the most peaceful they have ever seen in any prison anywhere, and they ask to be allowed to work here.
This prison machine does not recognize the human being. It sees only an object to be manipulated and controlled. Using isolation and other tactics of dehumanization to crush our spirits and destroy our minds and families, even if an inmate wins a reversal or commuted sentence, irreversible damage has already been done. Locking us down in this dirty, old, cold, leaking building and prohibiting us from hugging our children and restricting our calls to them will never bring peace to this country or make this nation safer.
I agree that those guilty of terrorism should be prosecuted, but innocent people should not be targeted because of their race or religion. Because terrorism and terrorist related cases don’t have boundaries, the government takes its ideology as far as it can and especially those officials who are running and operating the laws at their discretion enjoy qualified immunity for their wrongdoings.
I am a Canadian citizen and all of my family is in Canada, including my wife and kids. Since I was first arrested by the American government, I have been singled out, isolated and discriminated against, not only because of my race and religion, but also because I don’t know any of the information that the American government is trying to pressure out of me. I do not understand the American laws, which is why I pled guilty in the first place, and I am having difficulty understanding the new charges as well. Because of this, my rights under the US Constitution are being violated. I am being held here in further detention against my will for crimes that I never committed. I am not a terrorist and I should not be targeted and treated unfairly and unjustly.
The AUSA succeeded in getting a verdict against me from the jurors in December, 2006, with the help of the ongoing media glamorization campaign of the “war on terror”, by casting this as a “terrorist” case the government created a situation where jury permitted the government to obtain conviction with evidence that don’t prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. I have been convicted of: guilt by association; refusing to work for the FBI abroad in an undercover capacity, making them angry and vengeful; refusing to help the government by testifying against members of the Sikh religion using Government prepared fabricated statements; and being a Muslim and native of Pakistan.
After I convicted on this fabricated terrorist related case, which is imposed on me, being a Muslim through purchasing a fake testimonies of Sikh peoples against me. Some people say’s I am encourages, because since 9/11 ,2001 arrest I kept fighting for Justice and never give up, but few says I’m may be bad man. There have been so many rumors—–that I ‘m a terrorist, my lot of close school, college, childhood friends and relative become scared and confused, they don’t know how to treat me,(due to the FBI and prosecutor’s atrocities against me since 9/11),even they know my nature, way of thinking, peaceful attitude and human loving behavior, and very well aware, that even I am not capable for doing any crime.
Prosecutor convicted me by misusing his legal power, only for showing his credibility in his profession for his bright future, on the basis of purchased, fake and systematical fabricated testimonies. BUT he forget in this temporarily and materialistic world and life, that there is another life ,after death is going to start very soon for each and every person, and he/she is going to face a GOD FINAL SUPER MAXIMUM SUPREME COURT, when no one needs help of any attorney’s, prosecutor judges, witnesses, expert and juries, for getting convictions. Each and every human being apart from any religion and ethnicity must get a true justice on merit basis, along-with wonderful reward and severe punishment of his/her doings::::
Isn’t it time that all humans are equal? We hear this, but we would like to see it – especially in that country called the United States of America, self-claimed across the world as a champion of human rights.
(Thanks from the bottom of my heart to you, Mr. Don Harkin and Ms. Anne W. Chaimberlain for your devoted, caring attention in helping me expose my plight and injustices being suffered by myself and others. Your humanitarian devotion, on-going help and attitude truly an inspiration to me in my life!)
Khalid Awan # 50959-054
USP Marion ,P.O.BOX : 1000 -Marion, IL 62959,USA
Man Who Aided Terrorists Faces Tougher Sentence
By TIM HULL
(CN) –A man serving 14 years in prison for raising and laundering money for a violent Sikh separatist group faces a longer sentence, according to the 2nd Circuit, because he may qualify for a terrorism enhancement.
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