Canadian Prisoner in Search of Justice: The Case of M. Momin Khawaja - BY: Sami Ullah Malik

image Is there an equal law and system of justice for the suspected “terrorists” in North America? Glenn Greenwald (“New York Top Court Highlights the Meaningless Menace of the Term Terrorism.” The Guardian: December 16, 2012), is a lawyer and internationally known American journalists explains in one nutshell “a fascinating ruling unwittingly illustrates the separate system of ‘justice’ invented for Muslims in the US after 9/11.” “Under the Law”, Greenwald adds that “this newly created "terrorism" crime is committed whenever one acts with the "intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population", but the law contains no definition of that term.”

What did M. Momin Khawaja do to be called a “terrorist?” On March 29, 2004, he was arrested on accusation of being co-conspirator for the UK London Bomb plan. But the Canadian Trial Judge acquitted him of this focal allegation of the case. There was no evidence to support this scenario. Subsequently, the Government made up five other criminal charges to try him in a public court of law in Canada. He was accused of sending $850. dollars to Displaced Afghan Women and Children Fund for medicine, foods and clothing; making of a cell phone jammer (device), sending emails to his girlfriend, taking part in a one day remote camp at Afghan-Pakistan tribal area and travelling to London to meet few British youngsters who were later convicted of terrorism. The trial judge sentenced him to 10.5 ( ten and a half years with 5 years for parole), but the Supreme Court of Canada increased it to Life and 24 years with 10 years for parole – a slow death for the crime he was neither charged with nor he committed it. Is it a legal justice to this young computer entrepreneur? Questioning the essence of customary justice in North American courts, Greenwald points out : “But that's what has happened in the post-9/11 era: a whole new system of "justice", with all new rules designed to ensure convictions and long prison terms, have been invented exclusively for those facing "terrorism" charges. And since the term "terrorism" has no discernible meaning other than "acts of violence committed by Arabs and/or Muslims against westerners", this illustrates why New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal was exactly right when, under the headline "Liberty and Justice for non-Muslims", he wrote:

[I]t's rarely acknowledged that the [9/11] attacks have also led to what's essentially a separate justice system for Muslims. In this system, the principle of due process is twisted and selectively applied, if it is applied at all."

The Canadian legal appeal process and its outcome clearly state an unfair, racist and biased combined punishment to M. Momin Khawaja because he is a Muslim. There is not a single piece of evidence to indicate that he harmed anybody or intended to do so and had no previous criminal background. The legal conviction of Momin Khawaja ushered countless rewards for the intelligence agencies and enriched many media experts on “terrorism” affiliated to the police establishments. The unusually harsh punishment brings a benign image of morally and intellectually infested wrong prejudicial thinking leading to malign acts and shrinking system of legal justice. Greenwald shares another penetrating insight to the problem:Momin Khawaja

“Those Muslims convicted under separate rules of justice don't just get sent to normal prisons, but to their own special prison units now as oppressive as Guantanamo. And, as this case and so many others illustrate, these tactics are rapidly expanding beyond their original application - the persecution of Muslims - into a wide variety of expansions of government power.”

One finds a staunch irony of opinion when Justice Label of the Supreme Court of Canada (June 12, 2012 Appeal Hearing Judges), asked the Prosecution: “why should Mohammad Momin Khawaja be sentenced to a Life and 24 years when he was not charged with the crime nor he committed it?” The prosecution asserted that “terrorism” is an international problem and they wanted to send a message to other offenders. Even though Momin Khawaja was not charged with this crime.

Now after 12 years, Momin Khawaja is allowed to have a parole hearing which should have happened in 2014. During this time, he was attacked by another inmate and major parts of his body were burnt. He was kept in solitary confinement for three (3) years in violation of international law and even Canadian humanitarian practices. Momin Khawaja has not committed any crimes against Canada; that he was never engaged in any violent activity or threat of violence against anybody throughout his life. Death is legally abolished in Canada. Therefore, why should he be given a Life and 24 years of outrageous sentence - indeed a slow death for crime he was not charged with, nor did he commit it. He has already served 12 years in prison without a bail.

Imperatives of legal justice must treat all the citizens as equal before law. An unprecedented injustice should cause rational rethinking not political expediency. Judges should realize that in a democratic system of governance, common citizen watch their actions and do have serious concerns on issues of societal values, progressive societal change and peaceful future-making. History will judge them by their actions and not by their politically geared claims. In complex multicultural societies, everybody got to be conscientious of peaceful future and imperatives of basic traits of equality, fairness and unity and justice. No society can progress if it is ravaged by unjust treatment to its citizens. It is obvious that Supreme Court verdict of December 2012 was influenced by the political expediency, and not derived from the legal stipulations. The challenge is clear that all concerned people across the globe should actively ask justice for Momin Khawaja. It is human to demands justice when there is clearly a case of injustice. While his parole hearing is made public, few journalists are sabotaging his appeal process by distorting the facts of the case. They falsify the facts and accuse him of “bomb-making” and “terrorism.” It all appears self-contradictory because Momin Khawaja was never involved in any conspiracy to make “bomb” or to take part in violence against the Canadian society. Most of his alleged activities happened overseas. There is no substance to poison the public perception about an innocent person who was not involved in any such activity. Would these hired journalists show ethical responsibility to tell the truth to public? He should have a normal parole hearing based on his rights and should be treated fairly and justly by the authorities.

(Sami Ullah Malik is a UK based journalist and international pro-humanitarian rights activist and enjoys global reputation to support the cause of travesty of justice anywhere on the planet and editor of the StatesTimes and BitterTruth).

Posted on Jul 23, 18 | 6:12 am