Thousands demand new trial for Imam Jamil Al-Amin

By Dianne Mathiowetz
August 26, 2020

Jamil Al-Amin

Imam Jamil Al-Amin, now in a U.S. prison serving 35 years to life and formerly known as H. Rap Brown, is one of the best-known Black liberation fighters of the 1960s and 1970s.

He served as chair of SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), a youth-led organization that bravely and boldly organized grassroots communities in the rural South to fight for voting rights and against Jim Crow segregation.

His compelling and dynamic speeches, delivered in rhythmic style, inspired people to join the struggle then sweeping the country. Brown was surveilled by federal agents, received death threats from the KKK and other white supremacists, and was harassed and arrested by local police forces.

This unrelenting state repression led to Brown serving five years in a New York prison, where he converted to Islam, taking the name Jamil Albdullah Al-Amin.

Following his release, he settled in Atlanta, established a mosque in the West End of the city, and organized to provide safety and security to his community.

On March 16, 2000, events had unfolded outside Al-Amin’s neighborhood store that authorities strung together into a complex web of disinformation. After two deputy sheriffs were shot, one of whom died, there has been a train of falsehoods, disregarded evidence, state prosecutorial misconduct and all the features of a frame-up.

Al-Amin was convicted on charges related to those events on March 9, 2002, and sentenced to life plus 35 years. Then the state of Georgia secretly turned him over to federal authorities. For the last 13 years, he has been transferred between multiple institutions, including seven years in solitary confinement at the inhumane Supermax facility in Florence, Colo.

His supporters and family have been fighting to win a new trial for Al-Amin, based on evidence not allowed into the 2002 proceedings. Otis Jackson, currently in a Florida prison, confessed on videotape, during an unrelated trial, to killing the Fulton County deputy sheriff in question. Jackson not only fits the description of the perpetrator provided by the surviving deputy, his testimony corroborates other evidence found at the scene.

Pressure is being brought on the Fulton County District Attorney’s office to reexamine the violations of Al-Amin’s rights committed at the original trial, as well as the strength of the new evidence, and to order a new trial for Al-Amin.

Tens of thousands have already signed the petition for a new trial. The DA’s office has been flooded with calls and letters. For more information, go to or ImamJamilAction

Free Imam Jamil and all political prisoners!