April 2007 Postcard
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DEAR JUDGE LEE:
IN DECEMBER 2005—AFTER a 10-year federal investigation and a six-month trial—a Tampa, Florida jury of his peers found Dr. Sami Al-Arian not guilty of violent “terrorism” charges, but “hung” 10-2 for acquittal on remaining nonviolent charges. On May 1, 2006, the Justice Department publicly agreed to release Dr. Al-Arian immediately, and to assist his voluntary departure from the U.S. with no other conditions, in exchange for a guilty plea to a single nonviolent offense.
Now Dr. Al-Arian is serving an extra 18-month jail sentence for refusing to testify before a grand jury. He is on a hunger strike to protest his continuing incarceration.
Please modify Dr. Sami Al-Arian’s current sentence of civil contempt. Allow this professor, a respected member of the Muslim American community, to reunite with his family immediately and live abroad.
DR. SAMI AL-ARIAN has been in prison for the past four years, much of that time in solitary confinement. After the U.S. government spent $80 million on a 10-year investigation and a six-month trial with 80 witnesses, including 21 from Israel, the Palestinian activist was found not guilty of 17 charges against him in December 2005. The jury failed to return a single guilty verdict—yet Al-Arian remains in jail and the government seems unwilling to release him unless he testifies in an unrelated case.
Gordon Kromberg, the assistant U.S. attorney in Virginia who violated the Justice Department’s agreement not to make Dr. Al-Arian cooperate (i.e., testify against others), is on record as stating that he is using his position to prevent the “Islamicization of America.” Show the world that American courts are just, and free Sami Al-Arian now.