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Canadian prisoner on Day 64 of hunger strike; Needs assistance

WILL HUNGER STRIKER FACE DEATH IN CANADIAN PRISON?
SECRET TRIAL DETAINEE NEEDS YOUR HELP TODAY

Secret trial detainee Hassan Almrei is now on Day 64 of his hunger strike. He is emaciated and weakened, but his spirit has not yet been broken. The light flickers, but has not yet gone out.
Hassan Almrei has been detained in solitary confinement without charge or
trial in a Canadian prison for 4 years. He is demanding minimally decent
conditions of detention; his main demand is the right to one hour a day of
exercise outside of his cell. The Ontario government (this is a provincial
prison) has callously refused to make the tiniest concession.


In July, Alexandre Trudeau, Naomi Klein, Heather Mallick, Avi Lewis and
other well-known personalities came forward to support Hassan Almrei's
request for release on bail (decision still pending). Questioned about his
motives, Trudeau stated "I presume he's innocent", adding that it is
unacceptable that a person be imprisoned in Canada without being charged
and without the right to a fair and public trial. Three of Hassan Almrei's
prison guards also testified in his favour, stating that he is an
'honourable', 'trustworthy' and decent man. One guard even stated that he
would have no hesitation to have Hassan as a neighbour, saying "I would
trust him".

This is Hassan Almrei's 6th hunger strike in four years. On previous
hunger strikes he has asked for rights as basic as heating in his icy cell
in winter, but had to go to court to obtain them. Almrei is waiting for a
court date once again, but it may come too late.

By way of comparison: in 1981, Bobby Sands and 9 other IRA prisoners on
hunger strike died after periods varying from 46 to 73 days, after
sustaining severe organ damage (e.g., blindness). Several survivors of the
strike remained permanently handicapped. In 1996, many Kurdish hunger
strikers in Turkey died after periods of 65 to 69 days.

Please don't let this happen to Hassan Almrei. Please don't let the light
go out.

PLEASE WRITE OR CALL MONTE KWINTER, the provincial minister in charge of
conditions of detention IMMEDIATELY. A massive, immediate flood of calls,
emails and faxes are needed in order to turn the tide.

Mr. Monte Kwinter
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
18th floor, 25 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, ON, M7A 1Y6
Phone: (416) 325-0408
Fax: (416) 325-6067
Email:  mkwinter.mpp@liberal.ola.org

Please cc Prime MInister Paul Martin ( pm@pm.gc.ca ) and Anne McLlellan,
Deputy Prime MInister ( McLellan.A@parl.gc.ca)

CC correspondence to Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada at
 tasc@web.ca or fax (416) 651-9770 or by mail to PO Box 73620, 509 St.
Clair Ave. West, Toronto, ON M6C 1C0, or let us know that you have phoned
Kwinter's office. Hassan Almrei needs to know that he is not alone, that
there are people who care enough to take action. For more
information: www.homesnotbombs.ca

Here is a sample letter (feel free to copy)

August 24, 2005

Monte Kwinter
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Government of Ontario
Object: Hunger strike of Hassan Almrei

Dear sir,

I am writing to urge you to take immediate action to meet the legitimate
demands of Hassan Almrei, who has been detained without trial in an
Ontario prison for four years and is now on a hunger strike to demand
minimally decent conditions of detention. His main demand is for one hour
a day of exercise outside of his cell.

As of today (Thursday, August 24), Hassan Almrei is on Day 64 of his
hunger strike. Hassan Almrei was already in poor health before beginning
his current hunger strike. He is at imminent risk of permanent, severe
impairment, and very possibly, of death.

By way of comparison: in 1981, Bobby Sands and 9 other IRA prisoners on
hunger strike died after periods varying from 46 to 73 days after
sustaining severe organ damage (e.g., blindness). Several survivors of the
strike remained permanently handicapped. In 1996, many Kurdish hunger
strikers in Turkey died after periods of 65 to 69 days.

Please intervene immediately to try to find a humane solution to this
situation. You have the power, and therefore the moral responsibility, to
resolve this crisis.

As Canadians, we pride ourselves on respecting basic human rights. Please
remain true to this fundamental value. Should Hassan Almrei die or be
permanently handicapped, it would be to our lasting shame and dishonour as
Canadians and as members of the human family.

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