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SAMI AL-ARIAN: CHRISTMAS IN COLEMAN

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  • ummyakoub
    SAMI AL-ARIAN: CHRISTMAS IN COLEMAN Melva Underbakke, Tampa Bay Coalition for Justice and Peace, 12/21/03 CONTACT: tampabayjustice@yahoo.com On Christmas Day,
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 22, 2003
      SAMI AL-ARIAN: CHRISTMAS IN COLEMAN

      Melva Underbakke, Tampa Bay Coalition for Justice and Peace, 12/21/03
      CONTACT: tampabayjustice@...

      On Christmas Day, the Al-Arian family usually spends the day together
      relaxing over breakfast and watching the Christmas parades. This year
      will
      be different. Sami Al-Arian will spend most of the day shivering in
      his
      very cold cell, one of two people at the federal prison at Coleman
      who do
      not have jackets. (The other is cellmate Sameeh Hamoudeh.) The guards
      all wear
      wool jackets, but the inmates also have jackets ­ except for Sami and
      Sameeh.
      They are also the only two inmates who have not been convicted of
      anything.

      While Sami waits in his cell, his wife and five children will begin
      the
      hour and a half drive from Tampa to Coleman. When they arrive at the
      prison, they are put in a very small room to wait for Sami. The room
      is
      approximately 4 by 5 feet, and only has room for two chairs. The room
      is
      crowded, and the family takes turns sitting down. After a wait of one
      to
      one and a half hours, Sami is finally brought to the visiting area.
      The
      family's first view of him will be when he enters the room, shackled
      and
      with his hands cuffed behind him. Once he is in the room, the guards
      remove
      the handcuffs and lock the door behind him.

      The children will not be hugging their father because there is a
      glass
      window between them. They also won't be talking to him right away,
      because
      the only way to talk to him is over a telephone. There is only one
      telephone, so Nahla and the five children take turns talking to Sami.
      While
      one person is talking to him, the rest cannot hear what he is saying…

      These visits are difficult, but they are very important, because
      these are
      the only visits Sami is allowed. The convicted prisoners can be
      visited by
      anyone, but Sami is only allowed to see his immediate family. Friends
      and
      other relatives are not allowed to see him. The visits are also
      important
      because Sami is only allowed one phone call a month.

      If you would like to send a letter to Sami, his address is:

      Sami Al-Arian
      #40939-018
      Coleman Federal Complex-USP
      P.O. Box 1033
      Coleman, FL.33521

      If you would like to write to the judge concerning his conditions,
      the
      names and addresses are:

      Honorable Thomas B. McCoun III
      Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse
      801 N. Florida Ave., #223
      Tampa, Florida 33602-3800

      Honorable James Moody
      Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse
      801 N. Florida Ave.
      Tampa, FL 33602-3800

      *********************************************************************

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