Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Washington Report: Help Free Dr Sami Al-Arian

April 29, 2008
Contact: Joshua Walsh

Help Free Dr. Al-Arian
Dr. Sami Al-Arian's attorneys say that he is being kept in solitary confinement and that officials have denied him visitors and taken away his clothes and bedding. The government has tried to compel the computer science professor to testify against Muslim charities and businesses in Northern Virginia, but he has refused to do so.
After a six-month trial in Tampa, Florida, a jury of his peers acquitted Al-Arian of eight terrorism charges and deadlocked on the remaining nine. This embarrassed the administration which decided to try again. In order to avoid another lengthy trial, Al-Arian pled guilty to one conspiracy count of helping individuals with ties to Palestinian Islamic Jihad on immigration and other court matters. Dr. Al-Arian has served for more than five years in prison, and he has been moved repeatedly from jail to jail. On April 15 the government transferred Al-Arian to the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth, VA.
The Justice Department has exploited post-9/11 tensions to prolong Dr. Al-Arian's punishment. "It's an abuse of the grand jury system," his defense lawyer, Jonathan Turley said. "It is an effort to secure by abusive means what the government could not secure from a jury."
On Monday, March 3, 2008, Dr. Sami Al-Arian began a hunger strike for justice to protest his continued detention. Al-Arian, a diabetic, has lost more than 30 pounds and is growing weaker.
This hunger strike is the third by the 50-year-old Palestinian activist, who was to have been released on April 7 and deported. Although a jury of his peers failed to return even a single guilty verdict, Dr. Al-Arian remains in prison with no indication that he will ever be released.
For More Information
About Dr. Al-Arian’s case, please visit: . Read an April 18, 2008 article by Neil MacFarquhar in the New York Times. .
Please spend some time today phoning or writing your local newspapers and radio stations. An innocent man’s life may depend on it. Please write to the following individuals to ask for an immediate end to Dr. Al-Arian’s harassment and imprisonment:
It can be as simple as this:
Please help free Dr. Sami Al-Arian.
Do the right thing and step in. Dr. Al-Arian is no terrorist. He is a hard-working professor, father, husband and a man who loves the United States and Palestinians. His views are shared by many Americans, including me.
Please contact any one of the following:
Hon. Judge Gerald Lee
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
401 Courthouse Square
Alexandria, VA 22314
Attorney General Michael Mukasey
Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Fax: (202) 307-6777
E-mails to the Department of Justice, including the Attorney General, may be sent to AskDOJ@usdoj.gov.
US Department of Justice
Office of Professional Responsibility
950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20530
House Judiciary Chair
The Hon. John Conyers, Jr.
2426 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-5126
Fax: (202) 225-0072
E-mail: John.Conyers@mail.house.gov
Senate Judiciary Chair
Sen. Patrick Leahy
433 Russell Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224- 4242
E-mail: senator_leahy@leahy.senate.gov
To contribute to Dr. Al-Arian's legal defense, please send checks to:
National Liberty Fund
P.O. Box 1211
24525 E. Welches Road
Welches, OR 97067
Screenings of “USA vs Al-Arian”
Friends of Human Rights (a group that began in Tampa when Dr. al-Arian was first arrested) is organizing a national tour to present the award-winning film "USA vs. Al-Arian," This award-winning documentary, filmed in Tampa, Florida, by Norwegian film-makers Line Halvorsen chronicles the effects of a terrorism trial on the family of the accused. Please contact Melva Underbakke to schedule a screening in your city. Call (813) 215-3403, or E-mail her at: melvau@earthlink.net.
The film will be shown on Link TV on Sunday, May 4th at 11 pm; Wednesday, May 7th, 03:00 am; and Thursday, May 8 at 8:05 pm (all Pacific Times).

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, PO Box 53062, Washington DC 20009. Phone: (202) 939-6050, Fax: (202) 265-4574, Toll Free: (800) 368-5788, www.wrmea.com Published by the American Educational Trust, a non-profit foundation incorporated in Washington, DC to provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states. Material from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs may be printed with out charge with attribution to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

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1 comment:

Marsha said...

Interesting to know.