Sunday, 4 March 2007



The Persecution of Sami Al-Arian
(The Nation) One of the first big show trials here in the post-9/11 homeland was of a Muslim professor from Florida, now 49, Sami Al-Arian. Pro-Israel hawks had resented this computer professor at the University of South Florida long before Atta and the hijackers flew their planes into the Trade Towers because they saw Al-Arian, a Palestinian born in Kuwait of parents kicked out of their homeland in 1948, as an effective agitator here for the Palestinian cause. As John Sugg, a fine journalist based in Tampa who's followed Al-Arian's tribulations for years, wrote in the spring of 2006:

"When was Al-Arian important? More than a decade ago, when Israel's Likudniks in the United States, such as [Steven] Emerson, were working feverishly to undermine the Oslo peace process. No Arab voice could be tolerated, and Al-Arian was vigorously trying to communicate with our government and its leaders. He was being successful, making speeches to intelligence and military commanders at MacDill AFB's Central Command, inviting the FBI and other officials to attend meetings of his groups. People were beginning to listen." LES MER HER.


Support for Hunger Strike Growing
WASHINGTON (Washington Post) A former Florida professor has not eaten for more than a month to protest prosecutors' efforts to make him cooperate with their investigation into whether a network of Herndon-based Muslim charities financed terrorist organizations.

Sami al-Arian, 49, who has twice refused to testify before a federal grand jury in Alexandria, has lost more than 30 pounds and collapsed in jail from the effects of his water-only diet. His hunger strike has drawn the support of Muslim organizations, which held a news conference last week at Justice Department headquarters in Washington and called for a worldwide fast in support of al-Arian. Tracy Billingsley, a spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Prisons, said prison officials will force-feed al-Arian through a tube if he appears close to death. "We would not let an inmate die," she said. LES MER HER.


Al-Arian supporters lobby for release as hunger strike continues
WASHINGTON (Associated Press) Supporters of former professor Sami al-Arian today called on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to deport al-Arian prior to his scheduled release from prison. Al-Arian is now in the fifth week of a prison hunger strike. The former computer science professor at the University of South Florida says he is protesting efforts to force him to testify in front of an Alexandria grand jury investigating a cluster of Muslim charities in northern Virginia. He says a plea bargain with federal prosecutors reached last year frees him of any obligation to testify -- but two federal judges have sided with prosecutors and say his action is in contempt of court. Al-Arian was accused of being a leader of a terrorist group called Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The 49-year-old was transferred to a federal medical prison in North Carolina last week.

Dr. Al-Arian vows that he will remain on a prison hunger strike
Dr. Al-Arian vows that he will remain on a hunger strike until the government ends its vindictive campaign against him and allows him to return to his wife and children. This is the second hunger strike by Dr. Al-Arian, who is a diabetic, during his nearly four-year imprisonment. Following his February 20, 2003 incarceration, he went on a 140-day hunger strike to protest the government's political persecution. During that time, he was hospitalized and lost 45 pounds. Al-Arian recently received an 18 month sentence for his ethical stand against testifying before a grand jury. The 18 month sentence was given to Dr. Al-Arian despite a plea agreement he had with the government, which included
a no-cooperation clause. Faith leaders, legal scholars and experts, human and civil rights activists, and people of conscience across the world are joining together in solidarity to say "Free Dr. Al-Arian".


Hunger-striking professor at N.C. facility
By: Associated Press BUTNER, N.C. -- A former university professor who's staging a hunger strike to protest effort to force him to testify before a grand jury is now in the federal prison hospital in Butner.

Sami al-Arian is a former computer science professor at the University of South Florida. He pleaded guilty to supporting a Palestinian terror group, then started a hunger strike January 22 in protest of efforts to force him to testify about Muslim charities in northern Virginia.

He had been held by U.S. marshals at a jail in Warsaw, Virginia, but was brought to North Carolina this week.

Al-Arian's wife says in a telephone interview that she talked to her husband on Friday and that he was fine. But she says he's determined to stay on the hunger strike.

His wife and supporters were in Washington this week lobbying members of Congress for support and plan to return to Tampa, Florida, this weekend.


Al-Arian collapses at jail

By MEG LAUGHLIN, St. Petersburg Times. Sami Al-Arian, who has been on a hunger strike since mid January, collapsed this week in a Virginia jail.

At daybreak Tuesday, guards discovered him lying unconscious on the concrete floor of a shower room in the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Va., and called for medical help, according to Nahla Al-Arian, his wife.

It was the 23rd day of a hunger strike during which he had consumed water only.

Al-Arian was transported Tuesday to a federal corrections medical facility in Butner, N.C. Officials there would not comment on his condition.

Al-Arian is on a hunger strike to protest being held in jail beyond his sentence for refusing to testify before a grand jury in Virginia. In May, as part of a plea agreement, he was convicted of aiding associates of a terrorist group in nonviolent ways.


Amnesty til USAs justisminister:
-Fengselsforholdene til Sami Al-Arian er uakseptable

Fengselsforholdene til Sami Al-Arian er brutale og fremstår som en tilleggsstraff. Det skriver Amnesty International i et brev til den amerikanske justisministeren. Den terrortiltalte Al-Arian sultestreiker på fjerde uke i protest mot behandlingen. Les mer hos Amnesty.

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