[Ppnews] Update on Dr. Al-Arian's Health Status

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Apr 24 10:22:44 EDT 2008



Tampa Bay Coalition for Justice and Peace
April 23, 2008

Update on Dr. Al-Arian's Health Status

VIRIGINA-- Earlier today, Dr. Sami Al-Arian, who 
is on the 52nd day of a hunger strike to protest 
government harassment, began to take a liquid 
nutritional supplement. Dr. Al Arian's health has 
deteriorated rapidly since he began the fast on 
March 3. He drank no water for the first 18 days 
and has lost more than 40 pounds. He has not 
received proper treatment or medical care at 
Hampton Roads Regional Jail, where he is being held.

At 11 a.m. on Monday morning, Dr. Al-Arian 
collapsed and lost consciousness for a few 
minutes. A doctor who examined him ordered the 
jail to give him more fluids, and tried to 
convince Dr. Al-Arian to take supplemental 
nutrients.  Later, an official with the 
Immigration and Customs Enforcement met with Dr. 
Al-Arian. The official promised Dr. Al-Arian that 
he would be moved to a different facility later this week.

After thousands of supporters and people of 
conscience called Hampton Roads Regional Jail 
last week, Dr. Al-Arian's conditions improved ­ 
slightly. His clothes and blankets were returned 
to him and he was able to receive ONE visit from 
family members. However, during that visit, which 
took place behind a glass partition, Dr. 
Al-Arian's hands were shackled. He remains on 
suicide watch in the segregation unit at the 
prison, on 24-hour lockdown in a windowless 
prison cell. The bright lights in the cell are 
constantly on, including throughout the night. He 
is allowed to shower only twice a week and is 
handcuffed every time he leaves his cell. He is 
not able to estimate the Muslim prayer times 
because he has no access to a watch or clock.

Dr. Al-Arian, who has experienced dizzy spells, 
blurred eyesight and fatigue, also began taking 
the liquid supplement at the urging of his 
family, who would like him to regain his strength 
to be able to travel in the event that he is 
deported expeditiously and allowed to finally 
rejoin them, as the government has promised.

Though Dr. Al-Arian was transferred into ICE 
custody on April 11, following the completion of 
his sentence, there is no indication that the 
government will release him. TBCJP urges the U.S. 
government not to bring new charges against Dr. 
Al-Arian, a decision that would appear vindictive and underhanded.

The next week is an especially critical time for 
people of conscience to speak out against the 
continued attempts to increase Dr. Al-Arian's imprisonment.

TAKE ACTION:

1- Contact Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and ask:

(1) that Dr. Al-Arian immediately be moved to 
another facility where he will be treated
with dignity and respect, and

(2) that the U.S. government honor its promise to 
Dr. Al-Arian to release and deport him
immediately.

Vincent Archibeque, Acting Field Office Director of ICE
2675 Prosperity Avenue
Fairfax, VA 22031
Phone: 703-285-6200
Area of Responsibility: District of Columbia and Virginia

2-Contact the Department of Justice and ask 
prosecutors to honor their 2006 plea
agreement with Dr. Al-Arian that promised his release and deportation:

Attorney General Michael Mukasey
Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Fax Number: (202) 307-6777

BY E-MAIL:
E-mails to the Department of Justice, including the Attorney General,
may be sent to AskDOJ at usdoj.gov



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