A Victim of Mistaken Identity
  • Petitioned Hon. Thomas J. McAvoy

This petition was delivered to:

U.S. District Court Judge, Northern District of New York
Hon. Thomas J. McAvoy

A Victim of Mistaken Identity

    1. Petition by

      Lynne Jackson

      Albany, NY

Yassin Aref, a Kurdish imam, was entrapped by a criminal con artist hired by the FBI. Despite no evidence that Yassin supported any terrorist activity, the post-9/11 climate made the jury afraid to acquit him or his co-defendant, Mohammed Hossain. (For more information on Yassin and his case, see this article in New York Magazine, 'Little Gitmo.' )

Through a recent FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) request, Yassin's defense attorneys learned about secret evidence that misidentified Yassin as an Al-Qaeda agent. This evidence, which led to his conviction, was apparently shown to the trial judge and appeal court, but not to the defense.

The government convicted the wrong man. Yassin is not a terrorist.

Now the defense has prepared a motion to reopen the case based on this dramatic new evidence of mistaken identity. We are asking you to sign a petition to the judge who will, we hope, consider this motion. The petition requests that the judge give serious consideration to Yassin's motion to reopen the case.

To publicize the importance of this motion, and to emphasize to the judge that Albany has not forgotten this case, Lynne Jackson, accompanied by other supporters, will walk 133 miles from Yassin's home city of Albany, New York to hand-deliver the petition to the judge, who is located in Binghamton, New York.

The "Journey for Justice" sponsored by Project SALAM (Support and Legal Advocacy for Muslims, www.projectsalam.org) will start at 6:00 PM on Friday, July 12, 2013 at the Masjid As-Salam in Albany, New York and end on Tuesday, July 23 at 11:00 AM at the Federal Court House, 15 Henry Street, Binghamton, New York.

Please sign our petition to the judge, asking him to seriously consider reopening Yassin's case.


The photo above, of Yassin and his 6-year-old daughter, was taken during a rare prison visit.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 750 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Frank Wicks SCHENECTADY, NY
      • 10 months ago

      I have followed this situation from the start. The people who framed them should be judged to be more despicable and cruel than school yard bullies that we appropriately detest.

    • Theodore Micceri TEMPLE TERRACE, FL
      • about 1 year ago

      Injustice is injustice, any way it is spelled.

    • Yunis Alloush SCHNECTADY, NY
      • about 1 year ago

      Freedom is important

    • Sarah Alloush SCHENECTADY, NY
      • about 1 year ago

      I want America to stay true to itself. It was built upon democracy and justice by some of the greatest people in the world and we must continue our founding fathers legacy of justice

    • Edwin Hiley ATHENS, PA
      • about 1 year ago

      Your Honor, I've been concerned about the anti-Muslim climate being generated and fanned under the 'guilt by association' stereotyping so prevalent since 2001. More troubling is the efforts by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to gin-up or entice (entrap) muslims that otherwise would done nothing more that complain about their persecution in order to justify their function of fighting the 'War On Terror'. Please revisit this case, consider the mistaken secret evidence used to convict, and hopefully realize the erroneous conviction, overturn it, and reunite Mr. Aref with his family. It is no wonder that many 'others' are suspicious and fearful of US authorities and justice system.


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