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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Al Arian on Hunger Strike

Speaking of FOG (friends of Grover), here is the latest press release from CAIR concerning the plight of Sami Al Arian, former professor at the University of South Florida who also happened to run an outlet for Palestinian Islamic Jihad from his office. Thanks to Jeffrey Imm.

National Islamic Coalition Seeks End to 'Harassment' of Florida Professor

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Muslim
Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT), a national coalition of
major American Muslim organizations, today said the new prison sentence
given to former Florida professor Sami Al-Arian amounted to
unconstitutional "double jeopardy."
    Al-Arian recently began a hunger strike after being given a sentence of
up to 18 months for refusing to testify before a grand jury in Virginia. He
and his attorney say an early plea agreement freed him from further
cooperation with the government. Al-Arian's supporters say he is being held
in a rat and cockroach-infested prison and is being forced to wear dirty
and inadequate clothing as a form of harassment.
    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.
In a statement, the AMT said:
    "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. The government's actions amount to an
unconstitutional 'double jeopardy' situation in which a person who was
cleared of all charges by a jury of his peers is nonetheless being
imprisoned in harsh conditions through administrative means.
    "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."
    AMT members endorsing this statement include: American Muslim Alliance
(AMA), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of
North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Muslim
American Society (MAS), Muslim Student Association-National (MSA-N), Muslim
Ummah of North America (MUNA), Project Islamic Hope (PIH), and United
Muslims of America (UMA)

Posted on 01/30/2007 8:19 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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