[Ppnews] Despite denial - write another letter & call for Oscar Lopez Rivera

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Feb 21 21:07:28 EST 2011


February 21, 2011

Today the National Boricua Human Rights Network 
is continuing the campaign to win freedom for 
Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar Lopez 
Rivera. On Friday, February 18, 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.”

Please continue to call, fax and mail letters to 
the USPC. THERE ARE NEW VERSIONS OF THE PHONE 
SCRIPT AND LETTER. Please make sure you use those. (see below)

This decision ignores 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 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.

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.

Alejandro Luis Molina
<mailto:alejandrom at boricuahumanrights.org>alejandrom at boricuahumanrights.org
Skype: alejandromann

Coordinating Committee
National Boricua Human Rights Network
2739 W. Division Street
Chicago IL 60622
<http://www.boricuahumanrights.org>www.boricuahumanrights.org
twitter: olrcat

Comité Pro-Derechos Humanos
<http://www.presospoliticospuertorriquenos.org>www.presospoliticospuertorriquenos.org
************************************

February 21, 2011

Isaac Fulwood, Jr., Chair    via facsimile 301/492-5543
United States Parole Commission
5550 Friendship Boulevard, Suite 420
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815

Re: Oscar López Rivera, 87651-024, FCI Terre Haute

Dear Chairman Fulwood, and Commissioners Mitchell, Cushwa and Wilson Smoot:

We write to ask you to reconsider your decision 
to deny parole to Oscar López Rivera, who is 
serving a 70 year sentence for his commitment to 
the independence of Puerto Rico. The U.S. Parole 
Commission has likely never had a case similar to 
his, with such overwhelming evidence to warrant granting immediate parole.

In what other case has an entire nation, in one 
united voice, supported parole, as Puerto Rico did here?

In what other case has a president of the United 
States already declared that the sentence was 
disproportionate, and that he should have been released by September of 2009?

In what other case have 11 co-defendants 
accumulated eleven years of exemplary conduct after their release?

In what other case has the very same Parole 
Commission granted early termination of conditions to those co-defendants?

In what other case has the very same Parole 
Commission granted parole to the only other 
remaining co-defendant, only six months before 
the hearing in this case, after he served 30 years in prison?

In what other case has the Commission received 
tens of thousands of letters of support, 
including from so many elected officials, clergy 
and religious organizations, legal and human 
rights groups, and people who seek justice?

In what other case has the Commission had such 
conclusive proof meeting the criteria for release?

Yet,  you ruled that because of several factors, 
his “release on parole would promote disrespect 
for the law,” apparently ceding to forces opposed 
to his parole, who insist that he is responsible 
for a 1975 New York City bombing for which he was 
neither accused nor convicted, and in which he did not participate.

We ask you to reconsider what promotes disrespect 
for the law. The effect of your ruling is that 
this 68 year old decorated Vietnam veteran, with 
a distinguished record of service to his 
community, will be required to serve 45 years 
behind bars, when he was not convicted of harming 
anyone or taking a life — in other words, cruel 
and unusual punishment. No other country in the 
world holds people in prison for almost half a century.

It is not too late for you to fulfill your 
mission, “to promote public safety and to strive 
for justice and fairness in the exercise of 
[your] authority to release and supervise 
offenders under [your] jurisdiction,” by ordering 
the immediate parole of Mr. López Rivera.

Very truly yours,
******************************************
Parole Board Phone call-in script 9-5 EST until further notice
US Parole Board phone:  (301) 492-5990
Hit 0 to speak to operator.
Sample script is below.

Hi, I’m calling for the release of Oscar López # 
87651-024 and I live in Chicago [NY, etc.]
The Parole Commission should reconsider its order 
denying him parole, and grant him immediate parole.

IF YOU HAVE TIME, USE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING REASONS:
1) Oscar has the support of a broad sector of 
Puerto Rico’s civil society as well as Puerto 
Rican/Latino  communities and those who support 
human rights throughout the United States.
2) Oscar was not accused or convicted of causing 
injury or taking a life. He was never accused or 
convicted of participating in the 1975 Fraunces 
Tavern bombing or any other action that resulted in injury or death.
3) President Clinton’s determination that Mr. 
López Rivera’s sentence was disproportionately 
lengthy, and his offer that would have resulted 
in Mr. López Rivera’s release in September of 2009.

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

www.Freedomarchives.org  
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