[Ppnews] Statement from Dr. Al-Arian to Supporters

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Sep 9 18:52:42 EDT 2008

Statement from Dr. Al-Arian to Supporters
Expresses gratitude for support; "Freedom restores dignity and humanity"


Northern Virginia - September 9, 2008 - Dr. Sami Al-Arian has given 
his first public statement since being released on bond, thanking his 
supporters for everything they have done, and calling on them to keep 
bearing witness to justice all over the world.

[Statement from Dr. Al-Arian:]

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." These words, uttered by 
Thomas Jefferson more than two centuries ago, ring true today. I am 
very grateful to those who have been steadfast and vigilant in their 
defense of freedom, justice, and truth throughout my struggle during 
the past six years. Indeed, freedom restores the most precious 
qualities of life, dignity, and humanity.
        My thanks go to those in all corners of the globe who have 
campaigned for my case and for other prisoners of conscience. It 
takes courage and principle to stand up for justice at a time when 
fear often trumps rationality and fairness.
I am also grateful that my release came during a month of 
spirituality and reflection, one that I am blessed to spend with my 
family, while still remembering those who are less fortunate and 
deprived of the most important things in life: freedom, family, and peace.
        The work of my attorneys, Professor Jonathan Turley, Will 
Olson, and P.J. Meitl, has been outstanding. I am deeply grateful for 
their efforts in reuniting me with my family after so many years.
        Finally, to my friends, supporters, and people of conscience, 
although I have been released, my situation is not yet over. My 
family and I appreciate that you keep us in your thoughts and 
prayers. May God bestow His blessings, mercy, and grace on all those 
who struggle for justice and freedom, and on those who stand up for 
and speak out on their behalf.

Write to Dr. Al-Arian!

Personal letters are always an important source of inspiration for 
Dr. Al-Arian to keep persevering. To send a letter, simply email 
<mailto:tampabayjustice at yahoo.com>tampabayjustice at yahoo.com and your 
message will be passed along to him. Remember, even a short message 
of encouragement means a lot.

Again, to all of you who have shown your support, you have our 
heartfelt gratitude.


  Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Al-Arian case is emblematic of post-9/11 political prosecutions under Bush
6:02 PM ET

Ghori-Ahmad [Government Relations Director, 
<http://www.mpac.org/>Muslim Public Affairs Council]: "For many 
American Muslims, the 
of Sami Al-Arian has become the most prominent illustration of the 
Bush administration's post-9/11 political prosecutions.

Sami Al-Arian, a former University of Florida professor, was arrested 
in 2003 on charges of funding terrorism. In December 2005, the jury 
acquitted him of 8 of the 17charges brought against him and was hung 
on the remaining charges. In April 2006, Dr. Al-Arian pleaded guilty 
to a single non-terrorism related count of conspiracy and agreed to 
be deported.

A central aspect of the plea agreement was an understanding that Dr. 
Al-Arian would not be subject to further prosecution or called to 
cooperate with the government on any matter. The plea agreement 
signed with Florida prosecutors explicitly protected him from 
cooperating in any additional cases.

Despite Dr. Al-Arian's immunity, federal prosecutors in Virginia 
sought his testimony for a grand jury investigation and Al-Arian 
refused to testify. In April 2008, Dr. Al-Arian's sentence ended and 
while being held in an ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) 
jail, immigration authorities were making preparations for his deportation.

Unfortunately, the Justice Department has recently brought new 
charges of criminal contempt against Dr. Al-Arian in order to bring 
him before a grand jury investigating other Muslim organizations. 
Earlier this week, Dr. Al-Arian was released on bail and will be 
restricted to home detention while he awaits trial for contempt of court.

With no maximum penalty for criminal contempt, Dr. Al-Arian now hangs 
in legal purgatory and the Justice Department's witch-hunt continues."

Opinions expressed in JURIST's Hotline are the sole responsibility of 
their authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of JURIST's 
editors, staff, or the University of Pittsburgh.

Freedom Archives
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