Protest former US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald at meeting of University of Illinois Board of Trustees

Event Information
Date: 
Thu, 2013-01-24 15:30 - 16:30
Location: 
UIC Student Center West
828 S. Wolcott
Chicago, IL
United States

Demand an End to Investigation of Anti-War Activists

Patrick Fitzgerald has been appointed to be a member of the UI Board of Trustees. His first meeting will be this week on the UIC campus. Activists who have been the targets of raids and grand jury subpoenas are calling for a protest.

Fitzgerald has played a leading role in the U.S. government's undermining of civil liberties during the so called “War on Terror.” He convened a grand jury in 2009 under the pretext of investigating “material support for foreign terrorist organizations,” and together with the FBI, sent undercover officers to infiltrate and spy on anti-war groups. The prosecutor in his former office, Barry Jonas, continues the investigation to this day, despite an outpouring of support for the targeted activists from the Arab and Muslim communities, faith leaders, labor unions, and a dozen members of Congress.

Fitzgerald also prosecuted Palestinians Muhammad Salah, who has U.S. citizenship, and Abdelhaleem Ashqar. Fitzgerald’s office presented evidence extracted from Salah through torture in an Israeli prison, and allowed the Israeli torturers to testify without allowing the defense to hear the testimony, the infamous "secret evidence." After Ashqar and Salah were acquitted of the major terrorism-related charges, Ashqar was indicted, convicted, and sentenced to over 11 years in prison for invoking his constitutional right not to testify to a grand jury--clearly a punitive response by Fitzgerald after his very public loss in the case.

In addition, Jonas was the primary investigator in the case of the Holy Land Five, in which leaders of a Palestinian Muslim charity were convicted of providing material aid to terrorism. They were sentenced to many decades in prison, based on alleged donations to the same Gaza-based charities that the U.S. government donated to, and based on the secret testimony of an agent of the Israeli state.