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Dr. Al-Arian Released on Bail!

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    After 5 Grueling Years, a Moment of Repose Dr. Al-Arian Released on Bail! www.FreeSamiNow.com Fairfax, VA - September 2, 2008 - After five-and-a-half years of
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 3, 2008
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      After 5 Grueling Years, a Moment of Repose

      Dr. Al-Arian Released on Bail!
      www.FreeSamiNow.com


      Fairfax, VA - September 2, 2008 - After five-and-a-half years of
      harsh and gratutious detention, former Florida professor and civil
      rights activist Dr. Sami Al-Arian was released on bond, reuniting
      with his family for the first time since his ordeal began in 2003.

      Earlier today (Tuesday), the Immigration and Customs Enforcement
      (ICE) filed an order for the release of Dr. Al-Arian from their
      custody. Judge Brinkema originally granted Dr. Al-Arian bail on July
      10 and reaffirmed that decision last month, but the ICE continued to
      detain him until today on the pretext that they were completing
      deportation procedures.

      Last week, Dr. Al-Arian's attorneys filed a petition for habeas
      corpus with the court, challenging the continued unlawful detention
      by ICE. Judge Brinkema gave the government until today to respond.
      Their response came in the form of an order for Dr. Al-Arian's
      release on bail.

      Dr. Al-Arian's family was overjoyed upon hearing the news. Four of
      his five children along with his attorney met him at an ICE facility
      in Fairfax, Virginia earlier this afternoon. "We couldn't believe
      our eyes," Leena, Dr. Al-Arian's second oldest daughter, said. "We
      were so relieved. It's been 2,020 days since he's last been with us."

      His eldest daughter Laila added that "We are overjoyed that our
      father is finally back with us after what felt like an eternity. I
      hope that this is just the beginning, that he'll be finally released
      for good, and that this horrific nightmare will be over. We'd like
      to thank all the people who've supported my father throughout the
      past several years. Their consistent dedication and hard work in the
      cause of justice has been invaluable." Dr. Al-Arian - who is unable
      to make any direct statements to the press because of his legal
      situation - echoed these sentiments, expressing his heartfelt
      appreciation for the countless thousands who have shown their
      support for his case.

      "We owe so much to our lawyers, Prof. Jonathan Turley, Will Olson,
      and P.J. Meitl," Abdullah Al-Arian told the TBCJP. "Their incredible
      work for justice has allowed our family to finally be reunited after
      so long. On behalf of my father and my family, we thank you from the
      bottom of our hearts."

      For his part, Dr. Al-Arian's lead attorney Jonathan Turley told the
      AP "We are obviously relieved and delighted," noting that the
      release would allow Sami to see his son off to college and to spend
      the Muslim holy month of Ramadan with his family.

      Dr. Al-Arian will remain under house arrest until he is brought to
      trial for the current contempt charges against him or until several
      motions for dismissal are decided. On August 8th, Judge Brinkema
      postponed the trial pending Dr. Al-Arian's appeal before the Supreme
      Court concerning the prosecution's violation of the 2006 plea
      agreement.

      This is a great day for freedom and justice in America. We would
      like to express our gratitude to all of you who protested Dr. Al-
      Arian's imprisonment, wrote letters, made telephone calls, supported
      the defense fund, and offered their prayers and support. Your
      efforts HAVE made a difference. Stay tuned for more updates on how
      to help our campaign grow!

      ===

      DR. SAMI AL-ARIAN RELEASED ON BAIL

      Action hailed as an important step toward restoration of due process

      Washington, D. C. 9/2/2008 - Dr. Sami Al-Arian, the most prominent
      political prisoner in America, has been release on bail. Welcoming
      the news of his release Dr. Agha Saeed, Chairman American Muslim
      Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT) said, " This is an
      important step toward restoration of due process and equal justice
      for all".

      A brief history of the case is given below:

      - Dr. Al-Arian, a nationally recognized activist for American civil
      rights and Palestine, was arrested on February 20, 2003 on bloated
      charges of terrorism; his arrest and subsequent trial was the first
      major test case of the PATRIOT Act.

      - Alexander Cockburn has noted, this trial "featured eighty
      government witnesses (including twenty-one from Israel) and 400
      intercepted phone calls (the result of a decade of surveillance and
      half a million recorded calls). One bit of evidence consisted of a
      conversation a co-defendant had with Al-Arian in his dream."

      - In December 2005, after 10 years of federal investigation and a
      six-month trial, which cost the taxpayers 50 million dollars, a
      Florida jury refused to return a single guilty verdict against Dr.
      Al-Arian.

      - In a special two-page article about Dr. Al-Arian, TIME magazine
      reported that years of FBI investigation offered "no real links
      between al-Arian and terrorist acts. Nonetheless, says a former FBI
      supervisor involved in the case, in late 2002 word came down from
      Ashcroft to build an al-Arian indictment. "We were in shock, but
      those were our marching orders," says the supervisor, who felt that
      the Justice Department was rushing to indict before it had really
      appraised the evidence. ('When terror charges just won't stick",
      TIME, December 19, 2005, pp. 46-47)

      - On May 1, 2006, the Justice Department agreed that Dr. al Arian
      should be released within 30 days, and further agreed to assist in
      his voluntary departure from the country without other conditions,
      in exchange for a guilty plea to one non-violent offense.

      - Nevertheless, in a clear violation of these terms, Dr. Al-Arian
      has been called to testify before an unrelated trial three times.

      - On June 26th, 2008, Dr. Al-Arian was formally charged with
      criminal contempt of court for his refusal to testify. A federal
      judge has unexpectedly postponed the contempt trial until the
      Supreme Court addresses Dr. Al-Arian's appeal.

      - Civil libertarians all over the world have been calling for Dr. Al-
      Arian's release.

      - Now Dr. Sami A-Arian has to await his resumption of his trial in
      December.

      For more information, please visit: www.FreeSamiNow.com

      ===

      Sami a-Arian: US `terror` suspect freed from jail
      Wednesday, Sept.3, 2008
      Mathaba News Network
      2008/09/03
      www.mathaba.net/news/?x=604858


      Sami al-Arian was freed on Tuesday after US immigration officials
      failed to explain his continued detention pending a trial for
      refusing to testify before a grand jury about a cluster of Muslim
      organisations in northern Virginia.

      (Aljazeera) A US court has ordered the release of an Arab-American
      former professor who had been in jail for five years after he was
      accused of being a Palestinian terrorist. Sami al-Arian was freed on
      Tuesday after US immigration officials failed to explain his
      continued detention pending a trial for refusing to testify before a
      grand jury about a cluster of Muslim organisations in northern
      Virginia.

      "We are obviously relieved and delighted,'' Jonathan Turley, al-
      Arian's lawyer, said.

      But the former computer engineering professor at the University of
      South Florida, in custody since early 2003, is not yet fully free.
      He must remain under home detention at his daughter's residence in
      Virginia, pending trial. In February 2003, federal prosecutors
      charged al-Arian with being a leader of the Palestinian resistance
      movement, Islamic Jihad, which the US has labelled a "terrorist
      organisation".

      A jury acquitted him of eight charges out of the 17 against him but
      was deadlocked on the others. Al-Arian later struck a plea bargain
      and admitted to lesser charges of conspiring to aid the group by
      helping a family member with links to it to get immigration
      benefits, and by lying to a reporter about another person's links to
      it.

      He was sentenced to nearly five years in prison, during which time
      federal prosecutors sought his testimony for a grand jury
      investigation. Last month US District Judge Leonie Brinkema
      postponed the contempt trial and questioned whether the charges
      violated the terms of al-Arian's plea agreement which bars the
      justice department from standing in the way of his deportation after
      he has served jail time.

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