(ANAHEIM, CA, 4/17/08) - The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) said today that Starplex Cinemas succumbed to pressure by “anti-Muslim bigots” and canceled a screening of "USA vs Al-Arian," a documentary highlighting the injustices faced by former Florida professor Dr. Sami Al-Arian. MORE and SEE TV CLIP HERE
AL-ARIAN IN NOBEL PEACE CENTER EXHIBITION
On 25 September, the Nobel Peace Center opened the exhibition "Freedom of Expression - How Free is Free?". The exhibition presents people who have pushed the boundaries of freedom of expression, such as Anna Politkovskaja, Aung San Suu Kyi, Sami Al-Arian, Salman Rushdie, Theo van Gogh and many more. The exhibition can be seen in Oslo, Norway until 25 May 2008. More CLICK HERE.
AWARDED BEST NORDIC DOCUMENTARY
"USA vs Al-Arian" was awarded Best Nordic Documentary at the Nordic Panorama in Finland September 25th.The jury said the following when presentig the award. The film gives us a unique access to a family in crisis and offers a perspective which might often be missed. The director insists on sticking around to capture the moments.The film shows precisely how a common man becomes a victim of the situation in the contemporary world, where the Big Brother is watching you even when you´re ordering pizza. The film combines all the elements any documentary needs: a powerful story, strong characters and an emotional journey well crafted together.
NEW ORLEANS INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL: AWARD FOR BEST FILM
USA vs Al-Arian was also screened at New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival in April. This is a festival dedicated to nurturing New Orleans’ human rights community and linking local issues to international issues. USA vs Al-Arian won the festival's
official Jury Prize for best film.
THE AL-ARIAN’S VISIT TO NORWAY, FEBRUARY 2007
Nahla Al-Arian and two of her children, Laila and Abdullah Al-Arian, were invited to Norway to attend the cinema premiere in February. Also Sami Al-Arian’s lawyer Linda Moreno came to visit a freezing Oslo. By clicking HERE you’ll find pages in our archives that will tell you a little about their stay in Norway.
THE LATEST IN THE AL-ARIAN CASE
Our web pages are continuously being updated. By clicking HERE you’ll find the latest news on the case of Sami Al-Arian and also the latest on his condition. You can find links to articles and media clips about the film by clicking HERE.
Our far-flung correspondents
Political Persecution, American Style
Chicago Sun-Times April 4, 2012: Just a few months ago, our President signed the National Defense Authorization Act 2012 after almost unanimous bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, while the media almost unanimously ignored it. This is that same troubling act that permits indefinite detentions of American citizens without trial. READ MORE.
USA VS AL-ARIAN DVD - SPECIAL EDITION OUT NOW!
ORDER YOUR COPY ON AMAZON.COM
The special edition of "USA vs Al-Arian" is distributed by Kudos Family, and is now available on amazon.com in NTSC and PAL. The new DVD is available with English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Arabic subtitles, and includes 1h 52 min with bonus material.
BONUS MATERIAL: Commentary by director Line Halvorsen, Leena Al-Arian, Abdullah Al-Arian and producer Jan Dalchow - USA vs Al-Arian, short version (52 min) - Featurette: What happened after the sentencing (2006-2009)
- Interview: Sami Al-Arian, Orient Road Jail, Feb 2006 - Short: Look For Me – The Children of Gaza (dir. Tone Andersen) - Interview with Laila Al-Arian, Democracy Now! September 2008.
AL-ARIAN AT GLOBAL FORUM ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.
While the former professor in computer science at University of South Florida, Dr. Sami Al-Arian remains in house arrest in the US, his wife and daughter, Nahla and Laila Al-Arian will attend the Global Forum on Freedom of Expression in Oslo, Norway on his behalf, Friday June 5th. They will host the seminar, “The Ultimate Test of Democracy: The Right To Dissent - USA vs. Al-Arian” written by Sami Al-Arian.
YouTube VIDEO: AMERICAN JUSTICE SYSTEM IN CRISIS?
(April 1, 2008) Today a video which gives a short summary of the case is published on YouTube. About the video: Shocking tale of the first major test-case of the PATRIOT Act. An embarrassed Justice Department is still trying to keep Dr. Sami Al-Arian in jail despite being acquitted of charges. SEE IT HERE
U.S. TELEVISION SCREENINGS IN MAY 2008
Link TV had the U.S. television premiere of the 52 minutes TV-version of "USA vs Al-Arian" in April. The film will also be screened in May: Monday, May 4 at 11:00 p.m., Wedensday, May 7 at 03:00 a.m. and
Thursday, May 8, 2008 at 08:05 p.m.
For more information and to see a clip from the film, CLICK HERE.
Link TV is a nationally broadcast television channel devoted to providing diverse global
perspectives on news, current events and world culture not typically available on other U.S.
networks. The channel has garnered the support of Bill Cosby, Dave Matthews, Cher,
Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson and others. More info about how to get Link TV CLICK HERE.
WASHINGTON DC PREMIERE - SOLD OUT!
"USA vs Al-Arian" was screened at AMC/Loews Uptown 1 Theatre in Washington DC December 5th for a full house. Audience members wanted to know what they could do to help. Law professor David Cole said citizens can build political support for Al-Arian. "This case and the Guantanamo debate shows that the U.S. can lock humans up indefinitely without charges because they are foreign nationals," Cole said. "It's a double standard that we would not tolerate if taken against us." Al-Arian's family is trying to find a country that will accept him after his deportation. "It's a sad day when you have to leave the U.S. to be free," Abdullah Al-Arian said, drawing applause from the crowd. Read more here.
DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER AWARDED IN CALIFORNIA
Director Line Halvorsen and producer Jan Dalchow recently visited
California for screenings of "USA vs Al-Arian" at the Arab Film
Festival in the San Francisco Bay area and in Los Angeles - and at
United Nations Association Film Festival at Stanford. While in
California they also received the American Muslim Alliance's
"Excellence in Journalism & Creative Arts Award" - The award was
presented by chairman of AMA, Dr. Agha Saeed: "For arguably
making the best movie of the year about the civil rights crisis in the
States; For exposing the draconian character of the USA PATRIOT ACT;
For showing courage of conviction in highlighting the plight of one
America´s most prominent political prisoners, Dr. Sami Al-Arian and
family; For raising consciousness all over the globe about the
centrality of the issue of Palestine to world peace."
NAHLA AND LAMA AL-ARIAN GUESTS AT NORWEGIAN FILM AWARDS - AMANDA
"USA vs Al-Arian" was recently nominated in two categories at the
Norwegian Film Award - Amanda. Nahla and Lama Al-Arian were welcomed as guests
in Norway. Here together with director Line Halvorsen just before the
award show. The nominations were celebrated in Haugesund. (photo: Helge Hansen).
THE NORWEGIAN DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL: AWARD FOR BEST FILM
Between April 24 and 29. Volda is what matters when it comes to watching documentaries in Norway. Since 1997, this has been the venue for the best Norwegian and International documentaries. USA vs Al-Arian was awarded for best film and got the prestigious Flugeprisen.
Over: The Al-Arian family meets Laura and George W. Bush during Florida Strawberry Festival March 2000. Under: Nahla Al-Arian was separated from her husband Sami who was arrested in February 2003 by the American Government.
USA VS AL-ARIAN: INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE
The Norwegian documentary "USA vs Al-Arian" premiered Friday Apiril 20th at HotDocs, eliciting moviegoers' outrage towards the US justice system and its treatment of the Al-Arian family. The film portrays an American Muslim family facing charges of terrorism through the trial of Sami Al-Arian.
Two of his adult children, Abdullah and Leena Al-Arian, attending the international premiere and the midnight reception Friday, were touched by the standing ovation from the audience. “We weren't sure how a North-American audience would react to the film, but the responses we got were overwhelmingly positive,” Leena said. “At the reception after the film, we were approached by many people in the film industry who said they were appalled by the treatment of our father by the US government.”
While his children traveled to the Toronto premiere of "USA vs Al-Arian", imprisoned Palestinian activist Sami Al-Arian has been on a special tour of his own. So far this year, he has been transferred from prison to prison nine times, four times in April alone. Al- Arian went through a six-month trial in which he was acquitted on the most serious charges. Although the jury voted 10-2 in favor of acquittal on the remaining counts, the government threatened a re-trial on those charges. In a 2006 agreement, Al-Arian plead guilty to one count of giving non-violent assistance to immigrants associated with an illegal organization and the government agreed to release him and allow him to leave the country. However, they have not honored this agreement.
Currently Al-Arian is held under severe conditions in a prison about 1000 miles away from his family, making it extremely hard for them to keep in touch with him. Al-Arian recently went through a 60-day hunger strike to protest the government’s treatment. "The conditions under which Dr. Al-Arian has been detained both during his pre-trial detention, and since his sentencing appear to be unacceptably harsh and punitive," the human rights group Amnesty International wrote in a February letter to the US Attorney General.
“It was quite a strange experience to see our lives portrayed on the big screen like this. But seeing everything that happened during the trial again brings back both good and painful memories,” Abdullah said.
After the Toronto premiere Friday, director Line Halvorsen received a lot of praise, but also some accusations of bias. “It is a personal story seen through the eyes of a family, but the film is clear on the facts. We give the government a lot of screen time and the opportunity to present its point of view. But in the end, what we have is a man found innocent who is still harassed by the justice system. I hope the film will make people aware of the faces behind the headlines and the cases behind the laws.
FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY IN TAMPA - SOLD OUT
The Tampa Premiere of the critically acclaimed documentary film USA vs Al-Arian played for a sold out theatre May 16, 2007. The Tampa office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in cooperation with Friends of Human Rights and Amnesty International Tampa Bay local #240 presented the film at The Tampa Theatre.
"He's a man of principle, " Halvorsen told the crowd during a brief introduction. "He fights for what he believes in and he's not afraid to speak his mind." The audience cheered when the not-guilty verdicts were read. Some laughed derisively at the comments of U.S. Attorney Paul Perez, who defended his office's decision to prosecute Al-Arian. After the movie, several of the trial's key players gathered for a panel discussion. From St.Petersburg Times. More click here.
Over: From Fox13s coverage of the event. Click the picture to see video.