Sentencing

Sentencing

What did the Holy Land Five say during sentencing day?

 width=
Ghassan Elashi, Co-founder and Chairman.

Sentence: 65 years
Counts: 35
Inmate Number: 29687-177
Location: Communications Management Unit, Marion, Illinois

“When the Holy Land Foundation was incorporated in 1989, I had no intention in my mind and my heart but to help the Palestinian indigenous people who have been and still are facing unusual economical distress… Nothing in my life was as satisfactory and rewarding as knowing that I could sign a check, the evidence that is used against me. It is the only evidence you have against me, signing the check. But that was the most enjoyable part of my life and rewarding, knowing that I could sign a check or a wire transfer to assist hundreds of Palestinian families who got displaced after their homes were demolished… Nothing was more satisfactory to me than granting scholarships to hundreds of Palestinian students who had high average grades despite the circumstances… Nothing was more rewarding to me than being a catalyst and turning the zakat into a real life assistance to the orphans and the needy families… We helped Palestinian orphans and needy families, giving them hope and life. Hope and life. We gave them hope and life… We at the Holy Land Foundation were giving hope and providing the basic essentials of life to the Palestinians, basic essentials—oil, rice, flour. And what was the occupation giving them? The occupation was providing them with death and destruction. And then we are turned criminals. That is irony.”

***

 

 width=


Shukri Abu Baker, President and CEO.

Sentence: 65 years
Counts: 34
Inmate Number: 32589-177
Location: Communications Management Unit, Terre Haute, Indiana

“It was not hate for Israel or passion for politics that drove my destiny. Sanabel’s entire life had been a symphony of suffering and pain” — Sanabel is Abu-Baker’s daughter who was diagnosed at birth with Cystic Fibrosis and Thalassemia — “and God helped me to remix that symphony into a mix of relief and hope for so many people around the globe. This is how HLF transcended. And the more Sanabel triumphed and showed resilience to her killer diseases, the more energetic I became and the more resolute I became. The more she fought back and clung to life, the more I fought the impossible to help others cling to their life.”

***

 width=

 

Mohammad El-Mezain, Co-Founder and California Office Representative

Sentence: 15 years
Count: 1
Inmate Number: 92412-198
Location: Communications Management Unit, Terre Haute, Indiana

“Unfortunately, the Holy Land Foundation and my role in it was not fully shown. The Court needed to know about lives we saved and enhanced throughout our humanitarian work—the hundreds of thousands that received our food packages and financial aid, the countless men and women and the children that benefited from our social services, our health services, and community improvement. We did it all in the name of America, under American law. We gave the same people, Your Honor, we gave to the organizations that the United Nations and the world community gave to.”

***

 width=

 

Mufid Abdulqader,Volunteer Fundraiser

Sentence: 20 years
Counts: 3
Inmate Number: 32590-177
Location: Communications Management Unit, Marion, Illinois

“It was my greatest honor to volunteer to feed children. It is un-American to ignore starving women and children. It is un-American not to help desperate fellow humans suffering from oppression and occupation… I never in my wildest imaginations ever imagined that my life would be destroyed and devastated as a result of volunteering to rebuild people’s destroyed and devastated lives. Your Honor, I have never imagined that I would be put in jail as a result of volunteering to take people out of their jail of poverty and starvation.”

***

 width=


Abdulrahman Odeh
, New Jersey Office Representative

Sentence: 15 years
Counts: 3
Inmate Number: 26548-050
Location: Victorville Federal Correctional Institution, Adelanto, California

“My involvement of charitable work here in the United States gave me an opportunity to extend my philanthropy globally. God allowed me to join the international family of giving and impressing other charitable causes such as the international cooperation with the World Food Program of the United Nations, relief missions in Egypt, Albania, and Jordan where we fed underprivileged adults and children. I have not experienced an aberration of behavior and still strongly believe in my intent and innocence.”

Leave a Comment