Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Free Jack Idema Blogburst 11/1/2006

After several, tense, weeks, those of us who've been concerned as to the wellbeing of Jack Idema's right-hand man, Brent Bennett, can finally relax a little.

Brent appeared, via sat-phone, on Jack's weekly radio broadcast two days ago. In spite of everything he's been put through, Brent was in good spirits, sharing a joke with Jack about how Nina the dog took a bite out of one of Karzai's creepy, Taliban-sympathising guards. While it's certainly good to hear from Brent after nearly a month of silence, however, he is still forced to remain in hiding, and can only say that he's 'somewhere in the Middle East'. Meanwhile, Jack Idema remains holed-up in Pulacharke Prison, threatened with a move into solitary confinement away from his Northern Alliance guards, and with President Karzai's goons still hovering nearby.

What makes this situation so intolerable, of course, is that both Jack and Brent were found Not Guilty of all charges against them at an appeal way back in February 2005. Here's Tawous Noorzai, Deputy Commander of Jack's block in Pulacharke, writing under oath, explaining why why Jack and Brent are still being criminalised:
I have attended their court hearings and the secret trial that was conducted in the Second Court [Court of Appeals]. I was present during the decision of the Court of Appeals (February 2005 Christian calendar), where all three men were declared innocent by a panel of three Chief Judges and three visiting judges, including the two Religious Judges who called their arrest a terrible crime against justice in Afghanistan. I personally was present in February or March 2005 (Christian calendar), when the Chief Judge, who had just returned from a vacation in America paid for by the American Embassy, said that although they were innocent, he needed to get permission from the US Consul before signing their release order. It was supposed to be done the next day and the judges were to call a press conference and announce their verdict and issue an apology from the Supreme Court. Several days later, I heard the Chief Judge, Ismail Abed, tell Mr. Jack that he could not release them because the American Embassy had "worked behind the curtain" and ordered the Court to stop their release.
Almost two years later, Jack and Brent continue to exist in this state of legal limbo -- one imprisoned, the other hounded into hiding -- on account of a crime that not even the Karzai government or the U.S. State Department believe they committed.

So what can we do? Well, anyone reading this with their own blog can sign up for the weekly Free Jack Idema Blogburst by emailing Cao or Rottweiler Puppy for details. I'd urge everyone to do this, as we're still terribly short on takers. If you want to know more about the story, Cao's Blog has a large section devoted to Jack Idema. There's also a timeline here, and, of course, a huge amount of information is available over at SuperPatriots, without whose work none of us would have learned about Jack's story.

Finally, PLEASE NOTE: The SuperPatriots and Jack images on this site are used with WRITTEN COPYRIGHT PERMISSION and any use by any third party is subject to legal action by SuperPatriots.US.

The Free Jack Idema Blogroll:
The Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill, The Lone Voice, Kender's Musings, Irate Nate, The Devil's Kitchen, Cao's Blog, Big Dog's Weblog, Theodore's World, NIF, Rottweiler Puppy, Making Headlines, Right For Scotland, Freedom Folks, The City Troll, Sacramento Boxing, Causes of Interest, Concatenation of Events, Hyscience, Stuck On Stupid, The Daily Blogster, You Don't Know Jack and Right Wing Nation.

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