Al-Arian released!


Press Release
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), a federal judge ordered the Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE) to release Dr. Al-Arian from their custody.
Judge Brinkema had granted Dr. Al-Arian bail last month, but the ICE
had been holding him until today on the pretext that they were
completing deportation procedures.

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 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.”

Dr. Al-Arian will remain under house arrest until he is brought to
trial for the current contempt charges against him or until Judge
Brinkema resolves the matter in some other manner. On August 8th,
Judge Brinkema had postponed his trial pending his appeal before the
Supreme Court concerning the prosecution’s violation of the 2006 plea

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