Mariam Abu-Ali is a friend of mine in in the DC Area. Her brother actually went to the same highschool as I did. I am copying and pasting her email below and I hope you take the time to read it. What happened to her brother is well known in the DC community and it's outrageous.
--Ilana

Dear friends,

I am reaching out to you today for your support in my brother's upcoming resentencing. Most of you are aware of my brother's political situation, but for those of you who aren't: basically my brother Ahmed was arrested and detained without charges for 20 months, was tortured, stripped of his constitutional rights, and STILL convicted and sentenced in a U.S court, with the only evidence being a confession made under torture. He now faces the possibility of a LIFE SENTENCE although in the words of the judge, Ahmed's so-called "plans": "did not result in one single actual victim."

   * In 2003, my brother Ahmed--who was only 22 at the time--was suddenly arrested in Saudi Arabia while he was taking a final exam.
   * He was then detained there without charges and without access to an attorney for 20 months.
   * During that time, both the U.S government and the Saudi government refused to claim responsibility, each claiming to have no interest in him (in both written and/or recorded statements.)
   * Aware of the torture techniques that the Saudi government employs on its prisoners and frantic with worry for his safety, my parents filed a habeas petition to have Ahmed brought back to the U.S as he is an American citizen.
   * The case received worldwide attention and the outrage of many civil and human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Center for Constitutional Rights, and World Organization for Human Rights.
   * The judge ruled that Ahmed was in U.S custody and that the U.S had to provide the court with evidence of their activities around Ahmed's arrest, detention,  and interrogation.
   * Two months later,flustered with the court's decision, the U.S government decided to bring him back and indict him with terrorism related charges. The main evidence was a confession tape that was solicited through the use of torture.
   *  Ahmed entered a not guilty plea.
   * Although many of his constitutional rights were violated during the trial, Ahmed was convicted.
   * I've attached a powerpoint that goes into the details of the case, the trial and the outcome.
   * Now the government has appealed to increase his sentence to a life sentence, and has been granted that appeal 2 to 1.


Ahmed is innocent, and everyone who knows him has no doubts about that. My life and that of my family's were forever altered and our brother/son was robbed from us. Although many of you do not know him personally, you do know me. He is my brother: we grew up together, were raised in the same environment, attended the same schools, and our parents instilled in us the same principles and values. If I was accused of such a crime would you believe it?  Be confident that Ahmed is innocent. He is a very smart, wise individual and a loving brother. He is kind, funny, always optimistic (till this day) and peaceful, and all those who knew him attest to that. The charges are simply ridiculous...so ridiculous that all his friends and supporters laughed in disbelief when the charges were read in court.

I kindly request that you do your part as a fellow brother or sister to Ahmed and write a letter to the judge kindly asking him not to increase the sentence and to, instead, reduce it. Please keep in mind that when the district judge sentenced Ahmed the first time, while the government was pushing for a life sentence, ***the judge decided on 30 years and mentioned the letters from the community as a positive contributing factor to his decision.*** I cannot emphasize enough the importance of your help with this matter!

Attached as well is a letter writing guideline, in it you will also find letters by friends, teachers, students and neighbors that attest to his good character and his loving nature. I know that many of you are busy with finals, but please take the time to learn about his case and to write a letter. You have till May 13th to postmark it, but the sooner the better. We've already received letters from many different campuses, from both students and faculty.  It would mean so much to me if my Georgetown community comes out strong in supporting me and my family and I hope that you will take the time to help Ahmed and stand for justice.

May justice be done.


Thank you for writing a letter
Mariam Abu-Ali

Best,

Ilana Alazzeh
Smith '11



--
Salaams,
Khadija Taufique

"Is there any reward for good other than good? Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?"