Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, calls on its members, supporters and all people of conscience to demand the immediate release of Sameeh Hammoudeh who is being held prisoner at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Bradenton, Florida. On 6 December 2005, a jury found Sameeh, a co-defendant in the Al-Arian case, not guilty of all charges brought against him by the US government. Yet, as of this date, he is still being held prisoner by the ICE.
Sameeh has also accepted and wishes to be deported to Ramallah, his hometown in occupied Palestine. The ICE maintains that his detention is due to refusal to permit his return to Ramallah, a claim which, according to the St. Petersburg Times, has been denied by the Israeli authorities.
Since there is no legal basis for the continued detention of Sameeh Hammoudeh, Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, is asking all of its members, supporters and people of conscience to write to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General of the State of Florida Charlie Crist and Florida Governor Jeb Bush demanding Sameeh Hammoudeh’s immediate release and his return home.
We also urge publicizing Sameeh’s imprisonment by writing op-eds and letters to the media highlighting the injustice he has been subjected to.
* On 6 December 2005 a jury found Sameeh Hammoudeh not guilty of all charges brought against him. Hence, there is no legal basis for keeping him imprisoned by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service. He should be released forthwith.
* Sameeh Hammoudeh wishes to return to his home in Ramallah, Palestine. By holding him prisoner, the ICE is preventing him from exercising his inalienable, natural and legal right to return to his home.