Action - Ask Atty. Gen. Gonzales to Free Dr. Al-Arian
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
CAIR ACTION ALERT #509
ASK ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES TO FREE DR. AL-ARIAN
(WASHINGTON D.C., 3/9/07) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is calling on American Muslims and other people of conscience to contact Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to ask that he free Dr. Sami Al-Arian, a former Florida professor currently on a hunger strike in federal detention to protest his treatment by U.S. authorities.
Al-Arian is being held in a medical facility in North Carolina after initiating his water-only hunger strike on January 22. He began his protest after being given a sentence of up to 18 months for refusing to testify before a grand jury in Virginia. His physical condition is deteriorating daily. A family member told CAIR that he has lost 45 pounds since beginning his protest and now spends most of his time in a wheelchair.
Al-Arian's attorneys say an earlier plea agreement freed him from further cooperation with the government. Supporters also say the government's actions amount to a form of harassment.
Federal authorities say they will soon begin force-feeding Dr. Al-Arian.
SEE: Force-Feeding Near for Fasting Inmate (AP)
In 2005, a Florida jury rejected federal charges that Al-Arian operated a cell for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Al-Arian later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was scheduled for release and deportation in April.
SEE: No Guilty Verdicts in Al-Arian Trial (Tampa Tribune)
SEE ALSO: U.S. Muslims Call Al-Arian Imprisonment 'Double Jeopardy' (AMT)
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED: (As always, be firm, but POLITE.)
1. CONTACT the following officials to request that Dr. Sami Al-Arian be released from detention and allowed to leave the country with his family. (Make sure to include your name, address and ZIP Code in the letter)
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
The Honorable Judge Gerald Lee
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
401 Courthouse Square
Alexandria, VA 22314
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dr. Sami Al-Arian is currently on a hunger strike in federal detention to protest his treatment by U.S. authorities. He began his hunger strike after being given a sentence of up to 18 months for refusing to testify before a grand jury in Virginia. His attorneys say an earlier plea agreement freed him from further cooperation and that the government's actions amount to a form of harassment. I therefore respectfully request that you support the immediate release of Dr. Al-Arian so that he and his family may resume their lives in another country.
2. CONTACT your own elected representatives through: http://capwiz.com/cair/dbq/officials/
3. SEND COPIES of all correspondence to CAIR at: firstname.lastname@example.org or fax: 202-488-0833
4. COPY TO Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. E-Mail: email@example.com or fax: (202) 225-0072
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
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