Call for Support and a Fair Trial for Dr. Sami Al-Arian
WHEREAS, the United States government has harassed Dr. Sami Al-Arian and eventually arrested him on charges of supporting terrorism due to his activities on behalf of Palestine;
WHEREAS, while awaiting trial, he was placed in solitary confinement in a maximum-security federal penitentiary for nearly two years, denied basic privileges, allowed limited visitations and access to attorneys, and subjected to strip searches and the harshest conditions of confinement;
WHEREAS, Amnesty International has condemned these conditions;
WHEREAS, Dr. Al-Arian was subsequently, but prior to receiving due process, fired from his position on the faculty of the University of South Florida and that this firing was condemned by the American Association of University Professors;
WHEREAS, Dr. Al-Arian has been denied a change of venue in his case, despite providing strong evidence that ten years of biased, inflammatory media coverage by the Tampa Tribune have prejudiced potential jurors; and
WHEREAS, the love of liberty, respect for the presumption of innocence, support for fair judicial proceedings, and commitment to the dignity and humane treatment of everyone, including prisoners, are at the core of our Unitarian Universalist faith.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the United States government's prosecution of Dr. Sami Al-Arian violates the Unitarian Universalist Association's Statements of Conscience of 2004 on Civil Liberties and of 2005 on Criminal Justice and Prison Reform.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the 2005 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations urges members and congregations to:
- Inform others about the case by organizing educational forums and fundraisers in their areas;
- Communicate their support to Dr. Sami Al-Arian;
- Donate to his defense through the National Liberty Fund c/o Dr. Sami Al-Arian Fund;
- Ask their representatives in Congress to investigate Dr. Al-Arian's case, end his solitary confinement, and support his release on bond during his trial;
- Stay informed about other United States abuses of civil liberties and work to eliminate those abuses; and
- Contact congressional representatives to advocate that the USA PATRIOT Act be limited, not expanded, and to specifically repeal the use of secret evidence (Section 215).