On November 8th, Malik’s appeal for pretrial release was denied. He is facing up to 30 years.
On November 10th, a coalition of local anti-repression organizations and supporters of Malik Muhammad gathered outside of the Multnomah County (in)Justice Center, to hear speakers, including a Free Malik Now! organizer and his mother calling in from out of state, learn about Malik’s case, and participate in a noise demonstration. We gathered to raise awareness and express solidarity with Malik and all others facing the violence of incarceration, protest-related and otherwise. Participants brought noisemaking devices with the goal of making as much noise as possible for the people inside to hear. The group circled around the jail chanting “We want to see Malik be free! Free Malik, Free Them All!”
On the phone after the action with Malik that night, he told us that he could hear us chanting and making noise and it uplifted his spirit.
Malik is a political prisoner whose charges have been severely exaggerated for the purpose of instilling fear among activists and furthering the violent and racist power of the state. It is no coincidence that Malik, a Black man, is being made into a scapegoat for the movement for Black liberation. Nationwide and locally, media outlets have relentlessly vilified Malik. The media and the state have gone to great ends to sensationalize the story and manipulate public perception into believing he should be locked away for decades.
On April 5th, 2021 Malik was arrested in Indiana, and on April 29th extradited to Oregon.
His $2.1 million bail was met by the Portland Freedom Fund but revoked the next day. Within 24 hours of his release, he was rearrested by federal officers. Malik was then imprisoned by Multnomah County where he was held in solitary confinement for approximately 90 days without interruption.
During this time, the state also actively tried to limit his contact with his partner. This detrimental treatment, combined with the threat of COVID-19 exposure due to outbreaks in the jail, posed a very real threat to his mental and physical well-being. On July 29th he was moved to the state’s only federal prison, FCI Sheridan. At Sheridan, Malik participated in a hunger strike that successfully increased prisoners’ free-time from 30 minutes every other day to four hours per day everyday, and one day per week outside for recreation.
With his appeal denied, the demand for Malik’s immediate release is urgent and inextricably bound to our work of abolishing the prison industrial complex.
Malik is not “extraordinarily dangerous”, as Judge Marco Hernandez asserts. Malik is a father to his young child, a loving companion to his partner, a dedicated member of his community, and a passionate defender of freedom and dignity. Free Malik Now!