More than 100 officers were dispatched to arrest those now called The Fort Dix 5 in a massive counter terrorist manhunt that targeted Dritan, Shain and Eljvir Duka and their two other co-defendants Mohamad Shnewer and Serdar Tatar in various locations in Cherry Hill, NJ, in 2007.
Republican candidate for U.S. President, NJ Governor Chris Christie—and known anti-Muslim bigot—prosecuted the original case.
The flaw in the convictions of these three ethnic Albanian brothers and their co-defendants, one Palestinian and one Turkish, is that they never even heard of the conspiracy that they are serving life in prison for. The so-called evidence is carefully parsed phrases gathered by FBI informants on a mission of entrapment.
“The philosophy that supports and encourages jihad around the world against Americans came to live here in New Jersey…” gloated Christie.
Yet, it should come to no surprise that a bigot like Christie who hates teachers and screams at child victims of hurricanes would also be bent on an anti-Muslim campaign to promote his philosophy encouraging racism and fear at the expense of locking up for life innocent immigrant Muslims living in New Jersey.
On Jan. 7, 2016, the three Duka brothers argued at a hearing at the federal court house in Camden, NJ, that they didn’t receive effective counsel and their court-appointed counsel convinced them to not testify at their trial despite the fact that they wanted to testify.
“Free the Dukas now! Free the Dukas now! Free the Dukas now!” shouted supporters at the Camden courthouse hearing—a hearing that was won due to the support for the Fort Dix 5 that confirms the bigotry of the courts and the politicians.
“My name is Zurata Duka. I am the mother of the three sons—Eljvir Duka, Dritan Duka and Shain Duka. My sons, you know, they are strong, but, you know, especially Dritan, he was for six years in solitary, and they was far away from me. It was very hard for me. And Eljvir, too, now he’s about two, three years in solitary there, you know. It’s like they’re making like a mental, you know—it’s not abuse, but it’s abuse by the brain. And it’s very, very hard for me to listen, to see my sons to suffer like this, when they are innocent,” said Zurata Duka to the supporters and the media in Camden.
The result of the hearing will be made known in March, but the need for growing action to support the Fort Dix 5 continues as the progressive movement stands with Muslim brothers against this extreme repression.