In a consolidated effort to bring even more attention to the flimsy Federal charges being wielded against the international reggae music icon, Buju Banton‘s supporters have kicked off an official letter writing campaign to U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. The goal is to ensure the government is keenly aware that the public is monitoring this case closely. Below is a copy of the sample letter being circulated:
Dear Attorney General Holder:
I am writing to ask for your intervention with respect to a grave injustice against Grammy-nominated reggae music icon Buju Banton (legal name Mark Anthony Myrie). The incarceration of this legendary musician without bail is unconscionable. He is currently incarcerated in the Pinellas County Jail in Clearwater, Florida while he awaits trial on drug conspiracy charges in the Middle District of Florida for which he has pleaded not guilty. The charges are a result of information provided by a professional informant who relentlessly pursued Mr. Myrie for six months to participate in a drug deal.
In our great system of justice the accused is innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, persons accused of crime are entitled to bail. Mr. Myrie meets all of the requirements for bail, yet it has not been granted. In addition, his trial has been postponed three times despite his attorney’s objections.
The professional informant in Mr. Myrie’s case is a convicted drug trafficker from Colombia. This convicted felon has been granted legal immigration status and to date has earned over three million American dollars (tax-free) for serving as an informant to various U.S. government agencies. Taxpayer dollars certainly could be spent more effectively than on trying to entrap individuals who have no previous criminal record and have never been involved with drugs in any manner. Is the Federal government presently in the business of creating criminals?
Mr. Myrie, a.k.a. Buju Banton, produces uplifting, positive music comparable to the music of Bob Marley. His work inspires people worldwide. He has been nominated for a Grammy Award, the highest achievement in his field, four times since 1999. He is one of the leading voices of his generation, shedding light on such issues as the unrelenting violence and abject poverty pervasive in the Third World.
Banton has also represented his country in performances at the Summer Olympics in Greece in 2004 and at the Cricket World Cup Opening in 2007. Buju commemorated Jamaica’s support for President Obama by appearing in rock legend Dave Stewart’s music video for “American Prayer,” a moving tribute to the President. Additionally, Buju is a family man, an employer and a generous philanthropist.
Given Buju Banton’s exemplary reputation, his humanitarian efforts and his cultural contributions to society, he should not be languishing in jail at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. I urge you to do whatever possible to end this injustice.
Organizers of the Buju Banton Letter Writing Campaign are encouraging friends, fans and supporters worldwide to print out this letter — or write a version of their own, sign and mail it directly to Attorney General Holder at the following address:
Attorney General Eric H. Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001