[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 Oscar’s immediate release.

<http://boricuahumanrights.org>http://boricuahumanrights.org

********************************************
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.





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