Video: US Palestinian prisoner Hatem Fariz on Communications Management Units

Former Palestinian political prisoner in US jails, Hatem Fariz, speaks in the video below, produced by the National Coalition for Political and Civil Freedoms.

He describes what is was like to spend 3 1/2 years in a Communication Management Unit in a maximum security federal prison. “That was the hardest thing – when my youngest used to come visit and he cannot get a hug from me,” says Fariz. Communications Management Units, or CMUs, are used often for political prisoners in US jails and especially Arab or Muslim political prisoners. Many Palestinian political prisoners convicted of “material support” are held in CMUs, including four of the Holy Land Five –  like Fariz, who was part of the Sami al-Arian case.

Prisoners held there are severely restricted from communicating with the outside world as well as fellow prisoners. The CMUs are being challenged in court cases filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights and others.

Hatem’s testimony on the CMUs: