[Ppnews] Dr. Al-Arian Transferred back to Virginia

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Mar 19 16:31:35 EDT 2008


Tampa Bay Coalition for Justice and Peace

March 18, 2008

Dr. Al-Arian Transferred to Virginia

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-- Yesterday, Dr. Sami Al-Arian was transferred from 
the Federal Medical Center in Butner, NC back to the local jail in 
Warsaw, Virginia where he was held previously, to comply with a 
judge's March 3 order granting him immunity for a THIRD grand jury 
appearance. Today is the 17th day of a water and food strike that Dr. 
Al-Arian began to protest persistent harassment and psychological 
torture by the Department of Justice. He has since lost 29 pounds.

Dr. Al-Arian is being asked to testify before yet another grand jury 
less than three weeks before his scheduled release date. His 
attorneys have advised Dr. Al-Arian not to testify, as the plea 
agreement signed with prosecutors in April 2006 removed the 
possibility of cooperation.  Additionally, these grand jury subpoenas 
are a trap intended to prolong Dr. Al-Arian's imprisonment long after 
his promised release date. If he testifies, he is to be charged with 
perjury, facing years of additional prison time. If he is convicted 
of criminal contempt for not testifying, Dr. Al-Arian faces a minimum 
of five years in prison. These efforts to convict Dr. Al-Arian in a 
wholly separate case (more than two years after he was acquitted by a 
federal jury) are clearly a last-ditch, vindictive effort on behalf 
of the Justice Department, led by a rogue prosecutor who has made 
bigoted statements against Muslims, to punish Dr. Al-Arian for his 
acquittal. The Department of Justice must keep the promise it made to 
Dr. Al-Arian in his plea agreement and release him on April 7, when 
his current sentence is up.

Members of Dr. Al-Arian's family visited him last weekend at the 
prison medical facility where he was being held in Butner, North 
Carolina. They observed the effects of the hunger strike on Dr. 
Al-Arian, noting symptoms of severe dehydration. As of Monday, Dr. 
Al-Arian was examined by a doctor only one time in nearly a week. The 
government refuses to allow an outside doctor to examine Dr. Al-Arian 
despite requests by his attorneys, family members, and thousands of 
supporters. Butner Medical Center received thousands of telephone 
calls from concerned people from across the country and around the world.

TAKE ACTION

Given that Dr. Al-Arian has been on a hunger strike since March 3, 
2008 we urgently ask all conscientious and justice-seeking 
individuals to FAX OR WRITE  Judge Gerald Lee to ask for an immediate 
end to Dr. Al-Arian's suffering.

1- Honorable Judge Gerald Lee

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
401 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, VA 22314

Fax: (703) 299-3339

2-Please contribute to the National Liberty Fund to help alleviate 
costs of Dr. Al-Arian's
legal defense:

Please send checks to:

National Liberty Fund
P.O. Box 1211
24525 E. Welches Road
Welches, OR  97067



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