[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.
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
Vincent Archibeque, Acting Field Office Director of ICE
2675 Prosperity Avenue
Fairfax, VA 22031
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
E-mails to the Department of Justice, including the Attorney General,
may be sent to AskDOJ at usdoj.gov
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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