Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Poster of the Week
Free Lynne Stewart
Digital Print, 2009
Civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart returned home last week from prison after a federal judge ordered her compassionate release. Stewart is 74 years old and dying from late-stage breast cancer. Viewed by supporters as a political prisoner, she had served almost four years of a 10-year sentence for distributing press releases on behalf of her client, Omar Abdel-Rahman, an Egyptian cleric known as the "blind Sheikh." Stewart arrived to a group of cheering supporters in New York City on Wednesday, January 2, 2014. Stewart plans to continue fighting for political prisoners — and for her own life — now that she's free.
The charges against Stewart stemmed from two press releases that she released via Reuters on behalf of her client, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, that urged his followers to think critically about the cease-fire terms offered between them and the Egyptian government.
Stewart and her supporters describe her situation as an attempt by the U.S. government to generally intimidate lawyers. The government is especially interested in suppressing any evidence of misconduct and abuse at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib that might arise from lawsuits filed by current and former prisoners. Stewart says she did nothing that a committed lawyer would not do for any client. Stewart and her supporters accused the U.S. government of using the Patriot Act to erode civil liberties.
Sources and more information, including interviews with Stewart: