Friday, December 09, 2005

Free Al Arian, a Political Prisoner

Dr. Sami Al-Arian's TrialJury deliberations began on Nov. 15. We are praying for a just outcome. Thank you for the beautiful expressions of support we received from around the world.

A Political Prosecution:Closing ArgumentsClosing arguments in the case of Dr. Sami Al-Arian and his co-defendants began on November 7 with prosecutors admitting the evidence in the case was circumstantial.

The government has alleged that Dr. Al-Arian's legitimate organizations---the Islamic Committee for Palestine, World and Islam Studies Enterprise and Islamic Academy of Florida-- were fronts for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. While they attempted to prove that Dr. Al-Arian and his three co-defendants had "criminal intent" to further the unlawful goals of the PIJ, all they have shown was mere association and involvement in nonviolent, charitable activities.

To cover the fact that there is no evidence pointing to criminalactivity, prosecutor Cherie Krisgman asked jurors to "use theircommon sense" to "connect the dots." On Tuesday, Dr. Al-Arian's lawyers, William Moffitt and Linda Moreno, argued that the government failed to prove its case against Dr. Al-Arian and present any evidence to back up its claims. Moreno said "when Ms. Krigsman asks you to use your common sense, she's asking you to take a leap of faith, to suspend your disbelief."

More importantly, Moffitt and Moreno argued that the case is about nothing more than First Amendment-protected speech. They made impassioned pleas to stand up for the principles upon which the United States was founded and to defend Dr. Al-Arian's right to speak out against the brutality of the Israeli occupation of Palestinians.

No comments: