Write Letters in Support of Dr. Al-Arian
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Imprisoned Florida professor collapses on 23rd day of hunger strike

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is calling on American Muslims and other people of conscience to write letters in support of Dr. Sami Al-Arian, a former Florida professor currently on a hunger strike in federal detention to protest his treatment by U.S. authorities.

Family members report that Al-Arian collapsed on the 23rd day of his fast and has been moved from Virginia to a medical facility in North Carolina.

Al-Arian began his hunger strike more than three weeks ago 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 with the government. Supporters say the government’s actions amount to a form of harassment.

SEE: Al-Arian Goes on Hunger Strike (Arab American News)

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)

The American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT), a national coalition of major American Muslim organizations, recently said the new prison sentence given to Al-Arian amounted to unconstitutional “double jeopardy.”

The AMT statement said in part:

“It is becoming increasingly clear that the government is seeking to impose legal and physical penalties on Dr. Al-Arian that it could not obtain through the judicial process. . .We call on all fair-minded Americans who care about the preservation of the integrity of our nation’s legal system to speak out about this apparent abuse of prosecutorial power. We also call on federal authorities to cease their harassment of Dr. Al-Arian and to release him as scheduled so that he and his family can resume their lives in another country.”

SEE: U.S. Muslims Call Al-Arian Imprisonment ‘Double Jeopardy’

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)

The Honorable Judge Gerald Lee
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
401 Courthouse Square
Alexandria, VA 22314

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Fax: (202) 307-6777
E-Mail: AskDOJ@usdoj.gov

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Comments: 202-456-1111
Fax: 202-456-2461
E-Mail: comments@whitehouse.gov

Sample Letter:

Dr. Sami Al-Arian is currently on a hunger strike in federal detention to protest his treatment by U.S. authorities. Family members report that Al-Arian collapsed on the 23rd day of his fast and has been moved from Virginia to a medical facility in North Carolina. He began his hunger strike more than three weeks ago 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. SEND COPIES of all correspondence to CAIR at: info@cair.com or fax: 202-488-0833

3. COPY TO Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. E-Mail: john.conyers@mail.house.gov or fax: (202) 225-0072

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