Religious Leader Transferred to Supermax

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Article written by Adeeba Folami and recently published in the Denver Weekly News.

>>>The controversial case of Dr. Malachi Z. York took another twist recently when he was transferred to the “Alcatraz of the Rockies” recently to continue serving the 135 year prison sentence he was given in 2004. Previously, he led a well-established and progressive community of followers that occupied 476 acres of land in Eatonton Georgia. Supporters claim the charges against him were trumped up and that the case against York was riddled with racism and inequitable actions on the part of government, legal and criminal justice officials who were threatened by his growing influence. Read more…

Dr. Malachi York, founder of the United Nuwaubian Nation (UNN), was convicted, in 2004, of child molestation and racketeering stemming from acts alleged to have taken place near Eatonton Georgia where the UNN was headquartered on 476 acres of land which they owned. York received a 135-year sentence on the charges and was recently transferred from the U.S. Penitentiary (USP) in Marion, Illinois to the USP Administrative Maximum facility (ADX) located in Florence, Colorado.

>>>Krista Rear, ADX spokesperson, confirmed that the religious leader arrived Mar. 2 imprisoned under the name Dwight D. York. His supporters, and advocates like Malik Zulu Shabazz, head of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), maintain that the UNN leader was framed and is the victim of a government plot.

>>>“We must understand that this case involves conspiracy and the continuation of the Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) by outside forces manipulating divisions in the Nuwaubian nation,” he explained in a phone interview last week after postponing a trip to the state to consult with York. Also an attorney based out of Washington, D.C., Shabazz said red tape and bureaucracy from ADX prevented him from traveling to Florence at the time he desired to. Rear explained that an inmate’s counsel have to be approved by the facility’s legal department before being allowed to visit their client. Additionally, the only other visitors permitted are the immediate family members of those behind bars.

>>>Shabazz considers York to be a political prisoner in the same category as Jamil Al Amin, Assata Shakur and Mumia Abu Jamal and he noted that the attorney handling Jamal’s appeal is also working to secure a new trial for the UNN leader. The NBPP leader cited a number of reasons the case should be retried and said the original process was tainted by racism, inadequate legal defense, prosecutorial misconduct and coercion. Also, court records show that the key witness against York reversed her story and admitted she had committed perjury and was never molested by the now-60 year old man.

>>>The Egyptian themed community York raised in Georgia stood for more than 30 years before community members were forced to vacate the land when the government seized it after York’s conviction and sentencing. Once like a king in his own domain, he is now one of nearly 400 prisoners described as “most violent, disruptive and escape prone,” in the Florence “Supermax,” the most secure of U.S. federal prisons, which was built in 1994, costing nearly $60 million.

>>>Depending on what unit York is in – information Rear could not divulge – he is confined to his cell the majority of each day and given from thirty minutes to two hours daily for exercise. Rear was unaware of any other inmates who were in the facility due to child molestation convictions which seem out of place in comparison to current or previous offenders housed there, including: “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski; Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, both convicted in the Oklahoma City bombing tragedy; Larry Hoover, leader of the Gangster Disciples and Earnest Ujaama who was found guilty of developing an Al-Qaeda camp. Others are serving time for bombings of embassies or the World Trade Center; airline hijackings; robbery; murder; kidnapping, and a number of criminal Skinheads and neo-Nazi leaders are also on ADX’s list.

>>>Bryan could not be reached for comment on the status of York’s appeal but Shabazz, who is currently traveling abroad with Minister Louis Farrakhan, firmly stated his intent to visit with York after returning to the country. He also plans to continue his work advocating on behalf of other political prisoners.

>>>Members of York’s community are equally committed and have consistently worked to spread information in a series of “Let the Truth Be Told” pamphlets published by the UNN. In them, little known facts are revealed which they believe spotlight many injustices and legal inequities that should have been reason for dismissal of all charges against their leader.

>>>“This case should have never gone to trial. It was a clear case of modern day lynching brought by the government to eliminate another progressive, promising and positive African American movement,” a pamphlet reads. A chronology of case activity can be found on the group’s website: