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HELP TAREK NOW: WRITE A LETTER!


ON BEHALF OF TAREK MEHANNA, THE ISLAMIC COUNCIL OF NEW ENGLAND (ICNE) ALONG WITH THE MEHANNA FAMILY AND THE FREE TAREK CAMPAIGN CALL UPON MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC, WHETHER MUSLIM OR NON-MUSLIM, TO TAKE ACTION:

There are 4 simple ways to help that are critical and are most successful when more people participate in them.  These are provided below.  We urge you to share this website link with as many people as possible.  It is critical to maximize the number of people who participate.

PLEASE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW VERY CAREFULLY.

Tarek Mehanna has a sentencing hearing scheduled for April 12th, 2012.  In addition to needing as many people as possible to attend this hearing, if the community fails to act Tarek is most likely to be sentenced to life without parole in a SUPERMAX prison, described as torture by Human Rights Watch and the European Court of Human Rights.

“The day I arrived I was…told that I was at [the Supermax] now and if I act up they would kill me and there was nothing anyone could or would do about it.” -Inmate Statement to Human Rights Watch.

You can make a difference right now and keep this from happening.  All you have to do to start is to write a letter.  If you experience any difficulty doing so due to language or writing challenges, we are prepared to help from beginning to end to make it very easy to do so.  That is how important this is.

If you have any questions or comments, scroll down to the bottom of this page to find our contact information and an easy and convenient way to leave questions or comments.

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4 SIMPLE WAYS TO HELP TAREK MEHANNA

  1. Write the Judge a Character Letter about Tarek.
  2. Write US Attorney Carmen Ortiz a letter to recommend a short prison sentence for Tarek.
  3. Write a personal letter to Tarek directly.
  4. Attend the Sentencing Hearing on April 12th, 2012.
PLEASE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS PROVIDED BELOW BY TAREK’S ATTORNEYS VERY CAREFULLY, particularly with regards to what should NOT be included and who to address and who send the letters to.  In addition, please do not limit yourself to just one of the ways of helping.
We need as many people as possible to do each of these things.

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1.  Write a CHARACTER LETTER about Tarek (addressing the Judge) and send it to J.W. Carney, Jr.

When writing a character letter, REMEMBER:

  • DO NOT SEND THE LETTER DIRECTLY TO THE COURT.
  • DO NOT ATTACK THE VERDICT, THE TRIAL OR THE CASE (This is not the time to do so, nor will it help at all at this point to criticize the judge as unfair.  Instead, explain the impact that a long sentence would have on the community, and write about why he does not deserve a long sentence)

Below, Attorney J.W. Carney, Jr. has provided specific instructions on how to format the letters and what to include in them.

Character Letter Instructions Memorandum (Page 1 of 2)

Character Letter Instructions Memorandum (Page 2 of 2)

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2.  Write a SENTENCING RECOMMENDATION LETTER (addressing US Attorney Carmen Ortiz) and send it to J. W. Carney, Jr.

As the US Attorney, Carmen Ortiz is responsible for recommending a sentence to the Judge.  The defense also makes a recommendation, and the logic is that the prosecution will likely make a recommendation for lengthy sentence, while the defense will present an argument recommending a shorter one.  The Judge makes the final decision.  Tarek potentially faces a sentence of up to life in prison.  The purpose of this letter is to try to avoid that happening by writing to Carmen Ortiz, the US Attorney here in Massachusetts to strongly encourage her to recommend a short sentence.  Please note, Ortiz is highly unlikely to consider recommendations for “time served” so it may be wiser to explain why she should recommend a sentence of ten years or less.

IMPORTANT RULES to remember when writing this letter:

  • Instructions for where to send these ones are similar to above, except that they are not to be addressed to the Judge this time.
  • PLEASE DO NOT USE THESE LETTERS TO ATTACK THE VERDICT, THE TRIAL OR THE CASE.  Using these letters to slam the case will hurt Tarek right now, not help him.

Instead, you can explain to her how if Tarek is to receive a lengthy sentence, you would lose faith in the judicial system and the tremendous blow that would be dealt to any progress made by the US Attorneys Office in building a relationship with the Muslim Community.  You can also explain how, while many Muslims receive excessively long prison sentences, it is deeply concerning that other non-Muslim individuals, like US solders known to have committed atrocities in Afghanistan and Iraq, did not receive prison sentences, nor in most cases were they even prosecuted.  Ironically, Tarek was being charged with terrorism for criticizing the wars that allowed these atrocities to take place.

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3.  Write a PERSONAL LETTER TO TAREK directly to let him know you care.

Letters are extremely important to Tarek as well, because he has ZERO COMMUNICATION WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD.  Ask yourself how important human contact is to you and you will see why letters matter so much.

You can write to Tarek at the address provided below; please note that you must include everything that is included below.  If possible, consider applying a cologne with a pleasant scent to the letter to give Tarek some relief from the prison odor he has been forced to endure.

Tarek Mehanna

ID#50660 Unit GSE-107

Plymouth Country Correctional Facility

26 Long Pond Road

Plymouth, MA 02360

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4. ATTEND TAREK’S SENTENCING HEARING.

SENTENCING DATE is scheduled for April 12th, 2012.

WE NEED AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE TO ATTEND, SO MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

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Please use the form below to contact us with any questions or comments:

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4 Comments on “HELP TAREK NOW: WRITE A LETTER!”

  1. Minga February 7, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Open letter to Tarek:
    There are 3 reasons why I came to your trial. I felt justice needed a witness. As a Quaker, building God’s peaceable kingdom, I felt that this Christian nation harbors a prejudice against Muslims. I am so sick of people who call Arabs terrorists, or paint Muslims as dangerous. Third, I work teaching within some prisons, like the Shirley supermax. I know that the criminal justice system is racist and can tear you up. I want to support Kate in her calling to be faithful. Kate competently organizes events, but to work for justice in this case is more than an event. Tarek, you are in the claws of a retributive system which is not supreme justice. Our system may be fairer than some systems, but with society’s prejudice in the court system you are in the teeth of a bear trap called discrimination. I am so sorry. Ofcourse I’m sorry for you, but I cry in sorrow for our broken justice. It affects me too. So, courage, Tarek.

  2. Dave Magnani February 8, 2012 at 2:08 am #

    I do not know Tarek, nor am I familiar with the specific nature of the trial or the charges, but I do know a friend whom I have known for many years andwhom I have seen at Mass many times. I have known her and her husband in other contexts as well, particularly in our faith community – she and her husband are devout Catholics and I would trust her word and judgment – she knows Tarek’s family well and has vouched for his character. That weighs very heavily in Tarek’s favor with me.

  3. Laura McGarry March 2, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    Why is this case not on an appeals court docket??

    • KBJ April 12, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

      Because the attorneys couldn’t file appeals before the sentencing. They will be filing tomorrow!

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