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The USA vs Al Arian
 
 

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PFF resources | Index of films screened by the PFF
THE USA VS AL ARIAN


Directed by | Line Halvorsen

Genre documentary  |  Length: 99mins  |  Year of production: 2007


In 2003, Sami Al Arian was accused of giving material support to a terrorist organization and was held in solitary confinement for over three years. The case of Sami Al Arian was one of the first major tests of the Patriot Act, passed hastily after September 11, 2001. Al Arian’s six month trial ended without a single guilty verdict. But because the jury was hung on some of the counts Al Arian remained in jail as the prosecution threatened to retry him. This documentary is a close portrait of a Palestinian American family facing terrorism charges levelled by the U.S. Government. For years, Nahla Al Arian and her children fight to prove the innocence of husband and father Sami, a Palestinian refugee and university professor, who has lived in the USA for more than thirty years. The film covers the ordeal inflicted on his family by the trial and detention, and covers the Kafkaesque processes which force Al Arian, despite not being found guilty, to negotiate a plea bargain including his deportation...