Draconian designation motivated by foreign policy
Mr. Salah was incarcerated in an Israeli military prison, charged by an Israeli military court with providing support to Hamas in the early 1990s. At the time, no law barred Americans from supporting Hamas. Following 55 days of intense interrogation, including sleep deprivation and physical brutality, Mr. Salah pled guilty to the charge and entered into a plea agreement. He was released in 1997 and returned to his home in the United States.
Defendants provided Salah no notice of the factual basis for their action, and no opportunity to respond. He was not even provided with the administrative record upon which the designation was presumably based. There is no endpoint to the designation and its restrictions. Nor is there any requirement that defendants review the designation at any point. Defendants have never sought or received any judicial approval of their actions. They did not seek a judicial warrant in advance of imposing these restrictions, which amounted to an indefinite seizure of the entirety of his assets.
ADC and AFSC cannot now coordinate their activities with Muhammad Salah to publicly criticize the government or advocate for redress without violating the law. The organizations are concerned that the government’s treatment of Salah amounts to unnecessarily sweeping and arbitrary punitive actions that are an egregious affront to the basic values of justice, but AFSC and ADC are restricted in their ability to so advocate in coordination with Salah by the very breadth of the government’s restrictions.
Tortured by Israel, acquitted in US
the indictment itself violated principles prohibiting ex post facto and double jeopardy by prosecuting Salah for conduct that did not constitute a crime at time of his arrest in 1993 and for which he had already served time in a foreign prison. The government sought to admit evidence it knew Israel had obtained through torture, and the United States and Israel colluded to deny Salah the right to obtain information essential to his defense.