Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. Our show is special because we make it our priority to go where the silence is. We put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2015. Pretty exciting, right? Please do your part today. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2015.

Your Donation: $
Wednesday, April 10, 2002 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | PREVIOUS: A Palestinian Journalist Reports From Jerusalem That...
2002-04-10

Civil Rights Attorney Lynne Stewart Is Indicted for "Supporting Terrorism" By Attorney General John Ashcroft

DONATE →
This is viewer supported news

The Justice Department yesterday indicted a leading civil rights attorney on charges of supporting terrorism. Attorney General John Ashcroft accused Manhattan attorney Lynne Stewart, her translator, and two others of helping her client Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman deliver messages from his Minnesota prison cell to his followers in Egypt.

In 1995, Sheik Rahman was accused of masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He was ultimately sentenced to life in prison for plotting to attack the UN and the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels. Two years later, he was barred from sending or receiving written or recorded messages of any kind from his prison cell. If his lawyers wanted to meet with him, they had to pledge to discuss only legal matters.

But according to John Ashcroft, Stewart broke this rule by helping Rahman deliver coded messages to the members of his organization in Egypt. He says she allowed a translator to read and reply to letters sent by Rahman’s followers. Ashcroft claims some of these letters advocated the resumption of "military operations" in Egypt. The Attorney General could not cite a single specific terrorist act that resulted from these communications, but he called them "very important signaling to the Islamic Group.

Stewart, her translator, and two others face possible sentences of five to 20 years. Stewart was indicted Tuesday afternoon and released on $500,000 personal recognizance bond.

The indictment also charges Mohammed Yousry, her Arabic interpreter, and Ahmed Abdel Sattar, a postal worker from Staten Island. Yousry’s bond was set at $750,000. Sattar was held without bail. A fourth man, Yassi al-Sirri, the head of the London based Islamic Observations Center, is being held in Britain after his arrest in October. Stewart said: "They’ve arrested the lawyer and the interpreter. How much further are they going? Are they going to arrest the lady that cleans the sheik’s cell?"

Guests:

  • Lynne Stewart, civil rights attorney

Recent Shows More

Full News Hour

Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.