Lawsuit against Federal Bureau of Prisons Denied (1997)

The suit against the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), which is based on the violations of the first, fifth and eighth amendment has been bitterly fought in the US Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia Circuit. Our legal team of Deirdre Davis and Roger Wareham, Attorneys-at-law; Watani Tyehimba, private investigator and paralegal; and myself contested every effort on the part of the government’s attorney representing the BOP to undermine our legal team by painting me as a terrorist. Their theory, which proved to be successful, was to put my political view as a basis for the unconstitutional behavior in my transfer and isolation in the most maximum-security prison in this country. Their claims were that the reasons for the transfer were administrative, based on security reasons. We have pointed out, with evidence derived from the BOP secret files, (procured by Attorney Jonathan Lubell under Freedom of Information Act litigation) that without doubt or contradiction clearly state that their objective was to isolate me. This is verified by the following quotes:

In a March 4, 1994 – Memorandum for SIS Officer A. Aponte at Lewisburg to central file and office – in support of a transfer of Mutulu Shakur to Marion.

“Shakur in his cause and belief has made unauthorized contact with the news media in order to have a personal interview. He has also enlisted the service of three attorneys to pressure the media in conducting the interview.”

Another memorandum pursuing the same objective (that being my isolation at Marion and Florence, ADX).

From: Warden Brennan
To: Carlos Ortiz, Northeast regional

“I firmly believe Shakur needs the control of Marion, as he appears to manipulate the entire system. This sharude (shrewd?) behavior coupled with his outside contacts and influence over the younger Black element will have adverse effect on the mission.”

In the face of this evidence clearly there can be no doubt that there exists a ‘genuine issue in dispute’, which is all that is required in prevailing law to allow the civil legal process, the suit to continue its natural course.

The District Court as well as the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has drawn a line in the sand, choosing not to allow these violations to be brought out into the open courtroom with a jury. They fear the truth, which will not support the overall objective of denying the existence of PP’s and POWs as we continue our efforts to bring dignity to an undignified attempt to dehumanize us in particular and the disproportionate amount of oppressed nations inside of American prisons.

Our team believes the fight was and is important. We believe strongly that it should be fought, and we will exhaust all domestic legal remedies up to the Supreme Court. Thank you all for your support on this issue. It is a just fight to uncover the legalization of 21st Century slavery.

-Mutulu Shakur

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