[Ppnews] Sami Al-Arian Update - Prison Folds Under Pressure from Call-In Campaign

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Aug 7 15:30:44 EDT 2008

Prison Folds Under Pressure from Call-In Campaign
In Response to Telephone Calls and a Court Order, Dr. Al-Arian 
Transferred Again

August 6, 2008 Alexandria, VA -

        Following a week-long campaign to bring an end to his harsh 
treatment at the hands of officials at the Pamunkey Regional Jail in 
Hanover, Virginia, Dr. Sami Al-Arian has finally been removed from 
solitary confinement. Moreover, following a brief stint at the 
Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth, Virginia, Dr. Al-Arian was 
brought back to the Alexandria Detention Center where he awaits trial 
on criminal contempt scheduled for August 13.
        The latest move followed a flurry of activity in Dr. 
Al-Arian's pre-trial detention, which his attorney, Professor 
Jonathan Turley, has called "unconstitutional." Since being granted 
bail by Judge Leonie Brinkema on July 10, Dr. Al-Arian has been moved 
between facilities no less than five times. After being taken from 
Alexandria to the Pamunkey Regional Jail, where he was subjected to 
punitive conditions, Dr. Al-Arian was brought to the Immigration and 
Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in Fairfax last week. Upon his 
return to Pamunkey, officials there refused to accept him because of 
the high volume of telephone calls to the facility in protest of its 
abuse of Dr. Al-Arian's rights. The immigration agents then 
transported him to the Hampton Roads Regional Jail, 200 miles away 
from Dr. Al-Arian's family and attorneys in Washington.
        In addition to the protests by concerned citizens, Dr. 
Al-Arian was also aided by several motions by Professor Turley to the 
court highlighting the government's abuses. One motion called for a 
delay in the trial date because Dr. Al-Arian has been denied his 
constitutional right to prepare for trial by consulting with his 
attorneys. While Judge Brinkema has yet to rule on that request by 
the defense, she has expressed concerns over the government's abuses. 
According to a post on Professor Turley's blog, "In a telephone 
conference, Judge Brinkema took the government to task for its 
constant movements of Dr. Al-Arian. She stated that the situation was 
raising very serious questions over his 6th Amendment rights and said 
that she could think of no reason why the government is putting him 
so far from the court and counsel. She also expressed concern of 
these moves on Dr. Al-Arian's health and said it was a terrible waste 
of taxpayers' money to force a defendant to drive 100 miles back and 
forth to a court or counsel."
        Following this conference, the Court issued an order for Dr. 
Al-Arian to be brought back to Alexandria within 48 hours. He arrived 
at the Alexandria Detention Center at midnight, his fifth move in the 
past three weeks.
        A hearing in which all pre-trial motions will be argued is 
scheduled for this Friday, August 8 at the Albert V. Bryan Federal 
Courthouse in Alexandria, VA. All concerned citizens are urged to 
attend this critical hearing that will likely determine the nature of 
Dr. Al-Arian's upcoming trial.

  Come to Dr. Al-Arian's Pre-Trial Hearing Friday Morning!
The pre-trial hearing is extremely important as it will determine 
several key issues of how the trial will be conducted, such as what 
defense Dr. Al-Arian's attorneys will be allowed to present.
        The hearing will be held at 10 AM Friday morning at the 
Albert V. Bryan Federal Courthouse in Alexandria, VA, 401 Courthouse 
Square. Visit 
to find driving directions from your address. If interested in 
carpooling, please email

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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