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News :: Human Rights
Friday Vigil to Support Lynne Stewart
11 Oct 2006
Lynne Stewart is a radical human rights attorney known for her outspoken political views and representation of controversial clients. Last year, Lynne was convicted of providing material support to a terrorist organization for representing a client accused of terrorism. Already barred from practicing law, Lynne is 67 years old and battling breast cancer. The government is demanding that she be sentenced to 30 years in federal prison
lynne_stewart.jpg
Friday Vigil to Support Lynne Stewart and attorney-client privacy, 4:30-5:30pm at the Moakley Federal Courthouse (1 Courthouse Way, Boston, 02210)

Background:
Lynne Stewart is a radical human rights attorney known for her outspoken political views and representation of controversial clients. Last year, Lynne was convicted of providing material support to a terrorist organization for representing a client accused of terrorism. Already barred from practicing law, Lynne is 67 years old and battling breast cancer. The government is demanding that she be sentenced to 30 years in federal prison

"This is about protecting the right to defend. Once the attorney-client privilege is lost, there is no right to defend as we know it." – Lynne Stewart

What happened in Lynne Stewart’s case?

Lynne was indicted in 2002 on information based on governmental monitoring of conversations between Stewart and her client, Shiek Omar Abdel Rahman, an Egyptian Islamic scholar convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The evidence against her was that she openly gave the press information that her client personally opposed a ceasefire in hostilities in Egypt in June of 2000, violating a regulation prohibiting him from communicating with anyone except his wife and attorney. With many administrative sanctions available, including fines and disbarment, the government chose to put Lynne on trial for aiding and abetting terrorism. In 2005 Lynne was found guilty of defrauding the government, conspiracy, and providing support for terrorism. Arabic interpreter Mohammed Yousry and paralegal Ahmed Abdel Sattar were also convicted in this case. Lynne will be sentenced on Monday, October 16.

What does this verdict mean?

According to the Center for Constitutional Rights: “We saw it for what it was; part of a strategy designed to weaken the Bill of Rights and to frighten lawyers who might represent unpopular and even distasteful clients. What is at stake is the power of the government to eavesdrop on discussions between lawyer and client and, on a broader scale, an assault of historic proportions on the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments.”

Lawyers rely on private conversations to be able to zealously defend clients. Without this privacy, where does that leave lawyers?

Directions from T.
WALKING INFORMATION

* From South Station (Red Line and Commuter Rail)
North on Atlantic Ave (South Station exit is at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Summer Street) - cross Summer and Congress Streets. Take a right across either Old Northern Avenue bridge or the Evelyn Moakley bridge to the Courthouse. Walking Time: Approximately 11 minutes.

* From State Street (Orange line and Blue Line)
Devonshire Street exit from T. East on Devonshire 1 block. Left on Water Street. Cross Congress Street. After 1 short block, first right on Oliver Street (no sign). Oliver Street for 3 blocks, left on High Street. At present, pedestrian walkway near foot of High Street leads across Purchase Street and Big Dig to Atlantic Avenue. Across Atlantic Avenue, right for 1 block, cross Old Northern Avenue bridge to the Courthouse. Walking Time: Approximately 13 minutes.
See also:
http://www.lynnestewart.org

This work is in the public domain
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