June 27, 2017

Dear Friends and supporters,

Aside from sudden death, the incarceration of a loved one is often cited as one of the most psychologically traumatic experiences a family can experience. Like so many families impacted by our government’s “War on Terror” witch-hunt, my mother, siblings, and I could never escape from our painful reality taken over by trips to various prisons, courthouses, and law offices. The community we once knew, grew up in, and which my parents established no longer supported us, as many of its members feared that they, too, would be targeted. Without a doubt, our daily stresses were exacerbated by the alienation we felt from our local religious community.

It wasn’t until a group of concerned citizens in Tampa, primarily led by Dr. Mel Underbakke and Friends of Human Rights, organized in solidarity with us, that our daily hardship began to ease. Mel’s work with prisoners and families of prisoners has continued with the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms (NCPCF), which holds an annual conference to support families of political prisoners. Each year, dozens of family members gather to heal, share their stories, organize, and take action to defend their incarcerated loved ones.

During NCPCF’s fundraising drive to cover the costs of this year’s conference, I am writing to strongly urge you to support this worthy cause. These families are all victims of unjust government policies and constitutional overreach, and deserve our help. Personally, I would have loved for an incredible resource like this to be available during our case, and know it would have helped my siblings and me. Please donate whatever you can to support, empower, and stand in solidarity with the families — many of whose husbands, fathers, and brothers were horrifically slammed with decades long sentences. The family members will never stop advocating and working toward freedom for their loved ones, and we hope you’ll join the fight for justice and human rights. Thank you so much.

Leena Al-Arian


Leena Al-Arianleenaheadshot, NCPCF Deputy Director, is also the daughter of Dr. Sami Al-Arian, who was arrested on terrorism charges in 2003. Although acquitted of all terrorism charges, he did not gain his freedom for eleven years.  The photo above shows Leena with her two daughters, and her sister Laila, with Laila’s husband and  two sons. Dr. Al-Arian was deported, depriving these four young children of their grandfather.

To hear more of Leena’s story, watch her talk presented at Left Forum in New York City on June 3:     Preemptive Prosecution and Muslim Prisoners ~ Leena Al-Arian

You can also visit our Launchgood Campaign page for photos from past conferences, and further information on the impact of your generous contribution!

The situation is urgent! To make the 2017 conference successful, we still need to raise $12,000. Please consider donating $500, $250, $100 or any other amount to help us empower families and stand up to government repression! All donations are zakat-eligible and tax-deductible (Tax ID 45-1653796).

Thank you in advance!

In solidarity,

The NCPCF Team



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