Pakistani-American lawyer, author and podcast host, Rabia Chaudry has emerged the Global Muslim Legal Person of the Year 2021 for being instrumental through her serial podcast, to the freedom of Adyan Syed who was wrongly condemned to life imprisonment.
Rabia Chaudry, an author of the New York Times bestselling book, Adnan’s Story, was announced the winner of the prestigious international award, tagged #MNAwards2021, after rigorous deliberations and research by the Muslim News Team, led by its Publisher, Alhaji Rasheed Abubakar,
It would be recalled that the newspaper named Nury Turkel, top Uyghur-US Attorney of the Law and Human Rights Advocate, the 2020 Global Legal Person of the Year, for being one of the notable voices for the voiceless Uyghur Muslims who have been detained, tortured and persecuted by the Chinese government based on available incontrovertible evidence.
Alhaji Abubakar, in a press statement issued on Saturday in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, praised the firm conviction of Rabia Chaudry to follow the case to a logical conclusion.
According to him, “What Rabia has done is to save a life that has been misjudged and condemned, and in Islam, saving a life is like saving the whole world.
“Though Adyan might have spent more of his life in prison than outside, over two decades before his innocence was established, he has been given a rare opportunity to once again freely live among the people and start a new life.
“Now he can worship Allah without hindrance. He can raise his own family, and partake in social life. This is the result of the courage of conviction as demonstrated by Rabia.”
Abubakar said many people did not know about the story and ordeal of Adyan Syed, now 41, until a US court first declared him free on Tuesday, September 20, following a detailed
investigative journalism podcast in “Serial: Season One” co-hosted and co-produced by Rabia.
According to him, “The podcast chronicled the ordeal of Adyan who had been condemned to life imprisonment by a court in Baltimore and brought new evidence to the case. Adyan Syed had been jailed since 2000, when he was just 18 years old over the murder of his girlfriend, Has Min Lee, in 1999.
“Rabia Chaudry, an attorney, however, believes that there is something wrong with the judgment. She revisited the case to allow justice happen. Her efforts through the podcast done eight years ago was so popular that it has been downloaded more than 340 million times worldwide.
“However, Adyan, who is a friend to Rabia Chaudry’s brother has since Tuesday, October 11 regained his freedom and became a free man after the state prosecutor refused to seek a new trial date and dropped all charges against Adyan Syed, after 30 days of the initial judgment.”
The Publisher of Muslim News which celebrates Muslim achievers in all professions said the news of Adyan Syed excites him and his team, and by extension Muslims in the US and worldwide, adding that, “It came at a time we were in search of an outstanding global Muslim personality for the year 2021. Rabia Chaudry perfectly fits in.”
For us, there is nothing bigger than saving a life that had been condemned to life imprisonment. We acknowledge Rabia Chaudry and her team for her audacious efforts, courage of conviction to go this far in saving a fellow Muslim.
We urge the US government to compensate Adyan Syed for a wrong conviction and help with rehabilitation and reintegration.
“Muslims should also learn the habit of standing for each other in the face of difficulties,” he added.
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