[Ppnews] Oscar Lopez parole denied - Boricua Human Rights Network & Interfaith Statements
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Feb 18 18:00:57 EST 2011
February 18, 2011
Today the U.S. Parole Commission issued its
decision in the case of Puerto Rican political
prisoner Oscar López Rivera, stating Deny
parole. Continue to a 15-year reconsideration
hearing in January 2026 or continue to expiration, whichever comes first.
In a decision which ignored the express will of
the Puerto Rican people and those who believe in
justice and human rights, counting tens of
thousands of voices supporting his immediate
release, the Commission ignored the evidence
establishing that Oscar met all the criteria for
parole, and also ignored its own rules in the
process. Among these many ignored voices are
members of legislatures including the United
States Congress; the state legislatures of New
York, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania; the city
councils and county boards of many locales in the
U.S. and Puerto Rico; the mayors of many towns in
the U.S. and Puerto Rico, including the
Association of Mayors of Puerto Rico; bar
associations including the Puerto Rico Bar
Association, the National Lawyers Guild and the
American Association of Jurists; clergy and
religious organizations, including the Ecumenical
Coalition representing every religious
denomination in Puerto Rico; human rights
advocates, academics, students, artists, community organizations, and workers.
Oscar, his family, his attorney, National Boricua
Human Rights Network in the U.S. and the Comité
Pro Derechos Humanos in Puerto Rico want to
express our deepest gratitude for the vast support for his release.
Oscar and his attorney Jan Susler will meet next
week to discuss the decision. Meanwhile, the
National Boricua Human Rights Network in the U.S.
and the Comité Pro Derechos Humanos in Puerto
Rico will continue the campaign to express to the
Parole Commission the depth and breadth of
support for Oscars immediate release.
The Interfaith Prisoners of Conscience Project
denounces the US Parole Commission's decision to
deny the parole petition of Puerto Rican
political prisoner Oscar López Rivera, a father,
grandfather, artist, community organizer, and
decorated Viet Nam veteran who has spent nearly
30 years in prison for acts and beliefs in favor
of independence for Puerto Rico.
In making this decision, the Parole Commission
clearly failed to follow its own guidelines,
which stipulate that the petitioner not pose a
safety threat and not be likely to commit a future offense.
Past and present supporters of his release
include Nobel Laureates such as Desmond Tutu and
Rigoberta Menchu; scores of other prominent
people, including elected officials, celebrities,
and religious leaders and denominations,
reflecting the broadest cross-section of the
Puerto Rican society. Clearly his supporters
would not be working to welcome him home to
Puerto Rico if they considered it remotely
possible that he posed a danger to themselves or their loved ones.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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