JAILED PALESTINIAN PROFESSOR SAMI AL-ARIAN ENTERS 54TH DAY OF HUNGER STRIKE TO PROTEST INDEFINITE IMPRISONMENT
Democracy Now (reposted)
Saturday Mar 17th, 2007 9:15 AM
Sami Al-Arian is in dire condition. The jailed Palestinian professor has lost over 50 pounds as he enters the 54th day of a hunger strike to protest the circumstances of his continued imprisonment. We speak with his wife, Nahla Al-Arian.
Sami Al-Arian has spent the past four years in jail despite a jury’s failure over a year ago to return a single guilty verdict on any of the 17 charges brought against him. He eventually signed a plea deal with the government in exchange for being released and deported.
This past January, with just three months left before his scheduled release, a judge found him in contempt after he refused to testify before a Virginia grand jury. The date of his release could now be extended by a year and a half. On January 22nd, Al-Arian – who is a diabetic – stopped eating in protest. Last month he was transferred to the Federal Medical facility in Butner Virginia as his health deteriorated. A week before his transfer, we spoke with Sami Al-Arian from prison in his first broadcast interview since his 2003 arrest. He explained why he was on hunger strike.
* Sami Al-Arian, speaking from prison on Democracy Now! [Click for full interview: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/02/07/1546227&mode=thread&tid=25
His wife, Nahla Al-Arian, is going to Virginia today to visit him along with their five children. She joins me now from Tampa, Florida where she lives.
* Nahla Al-Arian, Sami Al-Arian’s wife.