by Dr. Mulazimuddin S. Rasool [Amherst, Massachusetts]
There are over two million prisoners in America. Out of this two million, many are political prisoners, and are being held indefinitely on charges as flimsy as suspicion. I always find it amusing when people say we have no political prisoners in America. Maryam Uloho is a political prisoner.
In her own words: I was a Real Estate Investor from Dayton, Ohio. I was arrested on March 3, 2001 in Gretna, Louisiana, close to New Orleans, in Jefferson Parish. I was held 14 months before I went to trial. During the jury selection on April 12, 2002, the District Attorney dropped all charges. I was then held without cause for two weeks and charged with “obstruction of justice.” The original judge took the hold off me, reduced my bail from $200,000 to $50,000 and I bonded out on May 5, 2002.
I returned to Ohio. Every month, sometimes twice a month I returned to New Orleans for trial. Each time I returned, it was postponed. The DA demanded my passport because of my international ties. The charges of robbery of an armored car and aggravated battery were dismissed, because there was no one who could place me at the scene. I was still held for a year. I told the detective at the scene, the officer stopped me because he wanted to know what a “nigga” was doing driving a Lincoln Town car in a white neighborhood? I told him I was lost. When the officer saw my credit cards and cash he said I stole it. He did his check with the Dayton, Ohio authorities and found that I was Mary Uloho, but the authorities in Dayton told them to hold me. So they did.
That’s when the officer took a big beige bag from the trunk of his car. He started putting things in my car. He got an APB that a robbery had taken place earlier that morning. I tried to tell the detective that the officer had hidden something and took $5,000 dollars from me. Before I came to Louisiana I had completed a closing on a house. The money was from the closing. They found everything from the robbery in my car except for the “green cash.” Internal affairs found the cash-$30,000 in small bills in two clear plastic bags- in his car at his house the next day. He was charged as an accessory to the robbery, but they still held me.
I had an attorney in Dayton. He sent a private investigator to Louisiana to see about me, but he wanted me to give him permission to collect money from a settlement ($4 million dollars plus $150,000). I refused. When I bonded out I brought charges against him because I know he had a hand in helping them keep me. My charges were accepted by Dayton and they found him at fault. I couldn’t follow through because I was found guilty by a jury that was made up of 10 Caucasians and two African Americans. One of the jurors who was African American had a son who was dating a Caucasian woman that I had been in jail with before the trial. She and I had a very ugly confrontation. She swore to get me. When her boyfriend, the juror’s son, told her his father was a juror at my trial, she started talking about my case. All three admitted in court that they had talked about the case. This is called “jury misconduct” or “jury tampering.” It is illegal in every state in the country except for Louisiana. My motion for a new trial was still denied.
The public defender told me not to wear the khimar (head covering worn by Muslim women). The judge was angry because I would not remove my khimar. I didn’t flinch or cry when he told me 20 years. The District Attorney wanted me double-billed because of an incident of self-defense in Dayton, Ohio ten years ago. At the double-bill hearing the judge was expected to sentence me to 40 years. He looked at me. I looked at him. I was still wearing my khimar. I smiled. He gave me 25 years. When I was admitted, I had to endure abuse from prisoners and guards because of my faith. I have had urine and feces thrown on me by inmates and while I was in jail had my shoulder dislocated by a male guard because I would not take the khimar off. I have high blood pressure and heart problems. If that isn’t enough there have been two chemical spills at the plant across the from the correctional facility. I am able to receive religious materials, but after four years of confinement have yet to receive religious instruction from someone from the Islamic community.
Mary (Maryam) Uloho is being persecuted because she is a Muslimah of African American descent and for no other reason. She is a political prisoner. This is a travesty and all right minded people need to stand up and say- enough!
Please write to her:
Mary Uloho 464534
PO Box 26
St Gabriel LA 70776