WASHINGTON: The United States Supreme Court today [Jan 11] decided to give a hearing to Mohammad Ali’s appeal against imprisonment for draft avoidance. The former world heavyweight champion, who was sentenced three and a half years ago to five years and fined 10,000 dollars, claims that he is a conscientious objector, and therefore, not bound to military service.

Ali’s appeal was rejected from lower courts, but now the fact that the highest American judiciary deems the case worthy of a hearing has brought a welcome respite for the black Muslim boxer. Before the Supreme Court Ali’s lawyers will claim that the Government used illegal procedures, including telephone tapping, during their client’s trial and will complain that he appeared before a draft board composed entirely of whites in June, 1967.

[Meanwhile, as reported by agencies in Amman] … [P]alestinian commandos and Jordanian troops carried on their running battle for the fourth successive day. The Old Town was sealed off by the troops and the heaviest fire seemed to come from Awrafifh district, considered a commando stronghold.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2021

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