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Stop Bush’s war against civil rights and civil liberties!

9. December 2005

Dr. Sami Al-Arian found not guilty

Demand his immediate release!

The government failed in its attempt to gain a conviction in any of the 51 charges against Dr. Sami Al-Arian. We join with people around the country in demanding that he be released immediately.

In a significant blow to the Bush/Ashcroft/Gonzalez assault on civil rights and civil liberties, especially against Arab and Muslim people and political activists in the U.S., on Tuesday, December 6 a jury acquitted Dr. Sami Al-Arian of the key charges leveled against him by the Justice Department. The jury deadlocked on other charges. Dr. Al-Arian has been an outspoken supporter of the Palestinian people’s right to live free from occupation and is a political target of the U.S. government and the right wing.

In 2003, the Bush Administration touted the arrest of Sami Al-Arian as a significant use of their new Patriot Act powers, calling him a supporter and facilitator of terrorism. The prosecution of Dr. Al-Arian was also hailed as an important use of “foreign intelligence” in U.S. courts. The FBI reportedly traveled to Israel to accept information from authorities there which was used to prosecute this Palestinian activist. The government had harassed Dr. Al-Arian for nearly eight years prior to his arrest, which was finally undertaken after a crescendo of attacks from anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab voices and right-wing media outlets. After September 11, 2001, he was vilified and smeared by Bill O’Reilly on FOX news and immediately thereafter removed from his tenured position at the University of South Florida.

Despite having roots in the community and a family, Professor Al-Arian was denied bail. He has endured two years of solitary confinement in a maximum security penitentiary. Dr. Al-Arian was placed in 23 hour lock down in a windowless cell where the light was never turned off and was denied a clock or watch. He has been denied basic privileges, been chained and shackled, subject to strip searches and given limited visitation.

Dr. Al-Arian was a speaker at the first national demonstration against a war in Iraq on October 26, 2002, that was initiated and organized by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition. After his arrest, his daughter Laila Al-Arian spoke at the April 12, 2003, anti-war and anti-occupation demonstration organized by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition.

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
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