Lynne Stewart - North America

Veteran New York criminal defense attorney
Lynne Stewart was sentenced to 28 months in
prison in the Southern District of New York for
“providing material support to the Gama’a
Islamiya”, which is on the Bush administration’s
list of terrorist organizations. Stewart is counsel
for Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the “blind Sheik.”
In 1995, Rahman was convicted of conspiracy to
bomb New York City landmarks.

The indictment alleges that Stewart and three
others (one of whom is her interpreter) facilitated
communication between leaders of the Gama’a
Islamiya and the imprisoned sheik. The
conditions of Rahman’s incarceration severely
restrict his communication with the outside world,
as well as with his lawyer. Violation of the
regulations that restrict that communication,
called the Special Administrative Measures, is
the gravamen of the charged offenses.

“Whatever I did, I did as a lawyer. It’s nothing
different than I have done for 20 years,” she told
me. She believes that the indictment is fueled by
the administration’s desire to demonstrate to a
nervous public that it is winning the war on
terrorism more than by legitimate law
enforcement considerations. Attorney General
John Ashcroft himself gave a press conference
following her arraignment and later appeared on
late-night television to talk about the case.

The violation of the Special Administrative
Measures occurred in 2000. Stewart says she
got a call from a U.S. attorney reprimanding


her for telling a reporter for the Reuters news
agency that the sheik was withdrawing his
support from a cease-fire that had been effect
in Egypt since 1988. Following the reprimand,
the government began electronically monitoring
Stewart’s prison visits with her client.

Because the case involves both First
Amendment speech and the Sixth Amendment
right to counsel, it raises the same specter of
civil liberties retreat as does the Uniting and
Strengthening America by Providing
Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and
Obstruct Terrorism Act.

Stewart believes that her own radical politics
and her representation of radical clients over
the past 20 years make her a seemingly easy
mark for indictment, especially when tied into
the present preoccupation with terrorism. Her
job, Stewart says, is “to give a voice to the
voiceless.” In a day and age when the
administration is urging indefinite and
incommunicado detention for even American
citizens, her principles cannot be faulted by
students of the Sixth Amendment.

Support page:

Lynne Stewart
FMC Carswell
Federal Medical Center
PO Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX 76127

Marie Mason - North America,

Marie Mason is a 46 year old mother of two. She
is an avid community gardener, a musician, a
writer, an Earth First! organizer and a volunteer
for a free herbal healthcare collective. She has
been charged with involvement with a December
1999 arson at a Michigan State University
genetics laboratory at Agriculture Hall and a
January, 2000 arson of logging equipment in
Mesick, Michigan. Both arsons were claimed by
the Earth Liberation Front. Marie's ex-husband
Frank Ambrose snitched on her, fully
co-operating with the state to incriminate Marie.
She was sentenced on February 5 2009 to
almost 22 years in prison.

You can write to her or to her support group:

Got Your Back Collective
P.O. Box 10371
Columbus, OH 43201

FMC Carswell
Federal Medical Center
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX 76127

Steve James Murphy - North America

Steve Murphy is a vegan political prisoner who
pleaded guilty to a 2006 E.L.F. action in
Pasadena, California. The action involved
decommissioning a tractor and placing an
incendiary device in a housing development
construction site in the name of the Earth
Liberation Front.

Steve was sentenced to five years in prison.

Steve James Murphy
P.O. BOX 26040