Fight Back! Newspaper
Saturday, May 18, 2013
About 200 Somalis, mainly women, converged on the Federal Building
here, May 16, for the sentencing hearing of two Somali humanitarian
workers. Amina Ali and Hawo Hassan were convicted of ‘material support
for terrorism’ in October, 2011. Judge Michael J. Davis handed down a
20-year sentence for Amina Ali and a 10-year sentence for Hawo Hassan.
Amina Ali (center) in front of MN Federal Court, May 16.
(Fight Back! News/Staff)
A statement from Somali Community Members In Minnesota stated, “Amina
Ali and Hawo Hassan have great hearts. These women will go beyond their
ability to help others. Both are highly respected by many in the Somali
community. They have touched the lives of so many of us here in the
Twin Cities… Amina Ali and Hawo Hassan are great humanitarian workers.”
In front of the courthouse some supporters of Ali and Hassan carried
small signs saying the two are heroes.
During the course of her trial Ali showed incredible courage. She was
repeatedly charged with ‘contempt’ when she refused to stand for the
judge due to her religious beliefs.
The two women, who lived in Rochester, Minnesota, collected clothing
and raised money to help destitute people in their homeland. The
prosecution claims that they helped al-Shabab, an Islamist organization
that fights to free Somalia from foreign domination.
The May 16 sentencing of Ali and Hassan was the culmination of a week
of outrageous federal sentencing hearings where a total of nine members
of the Somali community were sent to prison.
Jess Sundin, of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, was one of the
anti-war activists who came to the Federal Building to support Ali and
Hassan. “These two women have done nothing wrong and the prison
sentences are nothing short of shameful. They are great people who have
done wonderful things.”