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Legal campaign launched for Imam Jamil Al-Amin

By Askia Muhammad -Senior Editor- | Last updated: Apr 2, 2019 - 12:22:15 PM

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WASHINGTON—After 19 years of cruel imprisonment for a crime he and his supporters insist he did not commit, civil rights icon, prominent Black Panther leader  Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown may be closer to justice now that the Imam Jamil Action Network (IJAN) has announced plans for a legal campaign and an awareness campaign they believe will lead to his exoneration.


The year-long series began with a forum and Facebook Live broadcast March 16, 2019 at the American Museum of Islamic Heritage in Washington. That event marked the 19th anniversary of a shooting incident in Atlanta.

Imam Al-Amin was convicted of murdering sheriff’s deputy Ricky Kinchen in that March 16, 2000 shooting when two officers purportedly attempted to enforce a warrant. There were contradictions in the evidence and a haste to convict him argue, supporters.

The surviving deputy—Aldranon English—testified that he shot the two men’s assailant—who “had grey eyes”—in the exchange of gunfire. Imam Al-Amin’s eyes are brown, and he had no gunshot injury when he was captured just four days later. Still, he was hastily convicted of murdering the deputy, and sentenced to life with no possibility of parole plus 35 years.

Imam Al-Amin is no stranger to federal prosecution and persecution. The FBI’s infamous, secret COINTELPRO document called for “neutralizing” him. He once went into hiding for 18 months when he was listed among the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted fugitives. After a robbery conviction, he served five years at the infamous Attica Penitentiary where he converted to Islam.

In this latest incident, IJAN reported, another man, a prisoner, has confessed, twice now, to being the gunman who shot and killed Deputy Kinchen that day. Since his unjust conviction, Imam Al-Amin has been held in some of the most punishing federal prisons in the land. And he is not permitted to speak to outsiders or to the media.

A friend of Imam Al-Amin—Imam Abdul Ali—told supporters at the kick-off rally, that the letters he receives from family, friends or attorneys are literally re-typed by prison authorities before he reads the words on a screen. Authorities contend the original correspondence might have encoded secret messages in handwritten letters and numbers.

IJAN reports that despite medical challenges—symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome and smoldering myeloma (a form of blood cancer)—they have beaten back attempts to “execute him by medical neglect. Imam Al-Amin’s health has improved,” the network says, “and his spirit remains strong, and they have pressured prison authorities to ‘monitor’ his situation more carefully.”

“We’re talking about horrible people,” Imam Ali said at the kick-off rally, “people that got a camera in the (prison) cell watching you the whole time you are in the cell. We have to talk about the type of life that he was living in that prison. This system is the most unforgiving system on planet earth. But they want us to forgive them for everything they’ve done to us.

“And what we’re saying is: ‘Man, we call him to the table. We’re going to take the blindfold off of the Statue of Justice, cause that’s the statue of ‘ill-liberty.’ You know what I mean? We can pull that blindfold off of her and she’s going to look at this case,” he continued.

“We not asking for a favor. We’re demanding justice. You dig what I’m saying? We want justice in this.”

Some of the “horrible” things to which Imam Al-Amin was subjected include eight years in solitary confinement at the infamous federal “Super Max” prison in Colorado.

“I was at that (Super Max) prison one time myself,” Imam Ali said, describing the harsh conditions. “Now when he was in that cell, he didn’t have no human contact other than with those criminal correctional officers that hated him.

“If he came out to exercise, he had to strip butt-naked and get examined before they let him go into the recreation cage. He had to strip and get butt-naked” just to go back into his cell, Imam Ali recalled.

The theme of this year’s monthly support activities acknowledges the imam’s 75th birthday last October: “From H. Rap Brown to Imam Jamil Al-Amin, 75 years of life, 60 Years of Conscious Struggle: A Prisoner At War.”

On the legal front, judges of the Eleventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments May 3, 2019 in Atlanta about Imam Al-Amin’s appeal of his 2000 conviction. The appeal maintains that the State of Georgia violated Imam Al-Amin’s constitutional rights, including for example, “placing a gag order on him prohibiting him from speaking about his case, not allowing him to testify in his own defense and then holding that against him, and withholding evidence favorable to him: a signed confession to the shooting by another person,” IJAN said in a statement.

The Network is encouraging a letter and/or get-well card campaign to:

Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, 99974-555
U.S. Penitentiary Tucson
P.O. Box 24550
Tucson, AZ 85734