Jalil Muntaqim is a political prisoner being held at Auburn Correctional Facility in NY as a member of the Black Liberation Army and victim of COINTELPRO. Recently denied release on parole for the third time, as well as release by pardon or commutation of sentence, there now appears to be indicators of harassment and retaliation against Jalil inside Auburn CF.
In order to provide some context to current ongoings, it is worth mentioning an incident this past summer in which Jalil was placed in solitary confinement for approximately two weeks on false contraband charges. As a result of this, he also lost his privileges on the Honor Block. He has yet to regain those privileges, despite the false and exaggerated nature of the charges.
Following this, Jalil filed a grievance against the accusing correctional officer, and went through all the required steps to apply to have the case reconsidered. However, he recently received a letter informing him that the case had been dismissed because Jalil had failed to deliver the necessary documents to all 3 relevant parties—the superintendant, the correctional officer, and the attorney general. Despite Jalil’s documented proof that he sent these materials with ample time to all 3 people, none of them have been received to this day. This is not only a case of Jalil’s mail being held for abnormal lengths of time, it is a case of it disappearing altogether—and therefore crucially hindering Jalil’s ability to challenge the charges brought up against him.
In the past few days, there have only been more troubling incidents for Jalil. On Thursday, Dec. 30, shortly after a visit, Jalil was on his way to make a phone call when he was stopped by 4 correctional officers who proceeded to perform a full body search. He was then ordered to give a urine sample, take height and weight measurements, and was taken back to his cell to find it in complete disarray after having been thoroughly searched and upturned. He was then informed that he was being keeplocked for a 72 hour investigation, and was refused any further information throughout the duration of his being locked up.
He was unlocked on Sunday, though he still was unable to find out for what he had been keeplocked, and what this “investigation” pertained to. On Monday morning, January 3, Jalil was on his way to his drafting class in the school house. As he was about to pass the guard at the control station, he was stopped. The guard informed him that he had orders from his superiors not to let Jalil through. He instructed Jalil to return to his block and, again, claimed he had no further information.
Shortly after, Jalil was informed of formal orders from the Deputy Superintendant of Security which state that Jalil is pending investigation and that, in the meantime, he is not permitted to enter the school building and may not participate in Friday religious services. Jalil is both a student and a teacher in the school building at Auburn, and teaches weekly poetry workshops there. As far as he knows, he will not be permitted even to teach this class as long as this order is upheld. Furthermore, as a practicing Muslim, he is very concerned about being denied access to the Juma’a prayer service.
To this day, Jalil has been unable to find out what the investigation against him pertains to, and no charges have been brought up against him. Despite this, he was keeplocked for 72 hours and continues to be denied access to crucial parts of the prison. This, in context with his being brought up on exaggerated charges and facing crucial mail disappearances, appears to be part of a greater trend toward the harassment of Jalil.
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Jalil can be reached at:
Anthony Bottom (77a4283)
Auburn CF, PO Box 618
135 State Street
Auburn NY 13042