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Freedom Of Speech At Stake In New York


Source : http://www.progressive.org

Satellite TV Peddler to be Sentenced in New York for Letting Customers Get Station Run by Hezbollah.

Javed Iqbal was born in Pakistan and moved to the United States when he was a teenager three decades ago.

He earned his living running satellite TV companies, including the HDTV Corporation, which he started in 2000. Through this company, he allowed some of his customers to get Al-Manar, a station run by Hezbollah.

On August 23, 2006, agents from the Joint Terrorism Task Force came to his home on Staten Island before 6:00 a.m. and knocked on his door, and he let them in. His wife was home, and their three young kids were asleep. Some of the agents kept Mrs. Iqbal in a room away from her children for four hours.

The others started to interrogate Mr. Iqbal. He had been in the hospital just two days before for a panic attack, but they initially wouldn’t give him his medication.

They seized his computer and satellite equipment and then took him to his business office in Brooklyn, which they also searched.

Only then did they read him his Miranda rights, according to a filing by his lawyer.

From there, they took him to the FBI’s office, where “he was subjected to approximately eight more hours of uninterrupted interrogation,” the filing says. “Mr. Iqbal did not receive any food over this time and was held in handcuffs despite his protestations about his worsening health.”

He was taken into FBI custody and was charged with providing “material support” to a foreign terrorist organization, under Title 18, Section 2339B.

This prosecution “raises serious questions about how free our marketplace of ideas is,” said Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, at the time.

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