Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 02021471 (posted Feb. 14, 2002)"
“Posted on AILA InfoNet, Doc. No. 02021471
(February 14, 2002
(The following is a letter from Mr. Rabih Haddad, who is being detained in INS custody (no criminal charges) in Chicago in connection with the designation of his organization, Global Relief, as an organization that supports terrorism. Global Relief is challenging the designation in court. Haddad's hearing is one which Congressman Conyers was barred from under the
Judge Creppy "closed hearing" procedures. Conyers and ACLU and Detroit News and
Detroit Free Press have filed suit in Detroit challenging the Creppy order re
Jan. 27, 2002
Dear Mr. Thayer,
Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful letter of Jan. 22.
I do greatly appreciate your interest and efforts for my release.
Please extend my regards and gratitude to all members of CCAWR Coalition Against War & Racism.
I am sorry to say that I was not able to see the protests because the window
in my cell is "Whited out" to allow light in but not for me to
see anything out. I was able, however, to hear about it from other inmates who own small
radios and heard it on the news.
Allow me to take this opportunity to bring you slightly into my world
here at MCC Chicago. I am in a 6' x 9' solitary cell that
seems to have been designed for extremely violent or extremely
troublesome inmates. The bed is situated in the center of the room
with about a foot and a half on either side of it to the wall. The
bed is a metal slab with four legs bolted to the floor and fitted
on all four corners with special fittings to hold straps if it should
I have a camera fixed on me right outside my door that has completely
deprived me of any kind of privacy since that door has a small window
which allows them to check and see if I'm still there
around the clock. It's for my safety, they say.
I am allowed one 15 minute call to my family every 30 days. My
food is handed to me through a slit in the door 2-1/2" x 12".
The same opening is used to put the cuffs on me before the door is opened for any reason. I
am allowed 3 showers a week for which I have to be cuffed to walk 10
paces to the shower that has a door similar to my cell's door. I'm only
un-cuffed after I'm inside and the door is locked.
Also get 1 hour of recreation 5 days a week, and what a joke that
is. I am led, cuffed, from my cell to a cage (literally) just
down the hall which is the same size as my cell. In it is a homemade
stationary bicycle that has no resistance and thus is worthless for
exercising. I have to wait until the cage is empty because I cannot be put in there with
anyone else, for my own safety, they say.
I have made numerous pleas to the warden and others to let me speak with
my family once a week, but my pleas have fallen on deaf ears. I
have been under these conditions for the past month and a half, which
can drive a person to the extreme limits of his/her mental, emotional,
and psychological capabilities.
Where do we draw the line between justice and oppression? Between prosecution
and persecution? Is due process supposed to serve society or is society supposed to be enslaved by "due
process"? Many people on this side of the fence, I'm sorry to say,
have become Pavlovic dogs of sorts when it comes to "due process." I have been treated like
the worst criminal you can imagine when I have not even been charged
with a crime, save overstaying my visa, which I was in the process of remedying.
All of this has done nothing but harden my will and strengthened my
resolve to overcome and persevere. Your efforts and the efforts of
others are like torches of hope that light my way in this deep
and dark tunnel that I've entered and I am eternally grateful for that.
Please convey my warmest greetings and thanks to all those who planned,
participated or supported your efforts. May God bless you all.
P.S. Please forgive my spelling. I did not realize how
dependant I've become on my computer's spell-check until now.
P.S.2 I forgot to mention the waves of cockroaches that
invade the cell at night and crawl all over everything, including
Metropolitan Correctional Center
71 W. Van Buren Street
Chicago, IL 60605