January 05, 2006 12:15am
US Citizen Still Detained in Panama
Source: Letters to the Editor
by: Company Press Release
Dear Friends and Supporters of Free Speech,
My name is Frederick Salaff (U.S. citizen) and I have been kept prisoner (along with my friend Stefano Simone) unfairly by the Panamanian government for more than a year, often in abject conditions and in total disregard of my fundamental civil and human rights.
Here is my story:
In January 2005, a group of European filmmakers came to Panama to produce an adult video. They rented my house and asked me to secure the female talent. Prior to filming, I had asked the Panamanian government if it was legal to produce adult films in Panama. The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Panama officially replied that there were no laws against it as long as minors were not involved. I took all the necessary precautions to insure our protection and our absolute privacy and to keep anyone not connected to the production at bay. I even hired an off duty uniformed policeman to guard the house and keep people away. When neighborhood kids threw rocks at this policeman he quit.
A private security company was then hired. At no time was the house unguarded during filming. These precautions didn't prevent my neighbors from discovering that an adult film was being shot next door. They alerted the authorities. The Panamanian police raided my house, confiscated the equipment, arrested me, my friend Stefano Simone who acted only as my translator, a neighbor who cooked for us, and the crew of six. They jailed us without due process, under the dubious charges of exposing pornographic material to minors.
In fact, the arrest was illegal, the documents backing the arrest forged, the details of the circumstances altered. A year of investigation involving a thorough analysis of my computer's content, of my tapes, cassettes and archives failed to reveal the presence nor the involvement of any minor in all my activities. In spite of the guard's presence, it seems that some minors succeeded in climbing a neighbor's tree while filming was under way in my house patio-which, incidentally is surrounded by a ten-foot wall.
At a later date, we learned that these minors had been encouraged to climb the tree by an older neighbor who was aware of what was going on and who had some scenes videotaped from this high and hidden vantage point with a camera that belonged to him. As incredible as it may sound, we are therefore accused of not being aware that minors could spy on us. As a result, we have lost everything, endured unnecessary hardship and have been separated from our wives and families for a whole year.
We urge you. Help us put an end to this nightmare. Call the Panamanian authorities, share with them your concern, your outrage at this abuse of power and, most importantly, tell them that the world is watching!
Tel: 507 6688 0511
To call Panama from the USA dial 011 507 and the number. (507 is the country code for Panama) Procuradur-a General De LA NACI3N: Ana Matilde Gýmez 207-3002 Fax 225-5249Email: email@example.com.PA (She is Panama's Attorney General) Lina Hubiedo, Juez Primero Penal Del Tercer Circuito Judicial: 253-1705 (Judge in this case. Note: There is no jury trial in Panama) Zulma Diip Shu, Fiscal Segundo Del Tercer Circuito Judicial: 253-7791 (Fiscal-Prosecutor)
Even if you don't know Spanish you can translate English to Spanish here: Babelish.altavista.com