[Pnews] Top Elected Officials, Clergy and human Rights Leaders to Deliver Petitions to White House Today Demanding Clemency for Oscar López Rivera

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jan 10 12:41:28 EST 2017



January 11, 2017, Washington D.C. Prominent supporters of imprisoned Puerto

Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera, who turned 74 years old last

week in his thirty-fifth year behind bars, will deliver 100,000 
petitions to the White

House this afternoon, Wednesday, January 11. Grammy-award winning artist

Rene Perez, Illinois Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez, Florida Congressman

Darren Soto, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and San

Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz Soto, will lead the delegation demanding that

President Obama use his presidential power of pardon to grant López Rivera

clemency in the last week of Obama’s tenure in office. “Our deeply 
profound and

moral commitment to Oscar and his freedom,” asserted the group, “once again

brings us to the gates of the White House.”

An additional 108,000 digital petitions on the White House website, /We, 

/People/, have called for López Rivera’s release, which is also supported by

leading international human rights figures including Nobel Peace laureates

former President Jimmy Carter and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Connecting Obama’s, Carter’s and Tutu’s Nobel Prizes with that of Rev. Dr.

Martin Luther King Jr. (whose birthday is commemorated on Monday, January

16), Tutu – in a special message written to coincide with today’s action 
– stated

that the participants “feel for good reason that all avenues and 
channels have

been exhausted, and that leaving the elder López Rivera to face the coming

years behind bars would constitute a grave injustice to all the peoples 
of Latin

America. As a growing number of heads of state throughout that continent are

calling him ‘the Mandela of the Americas,’ I am reminded of the 
prophetic words

of Dr. King – who was, after all, also a political prisoner: ‘I am 
cognizant of the

interrelatedness of all communities and states,’ King wrote. ‘Injustice 
anywhere is

a threat to justice everywhere.’”

López Rivera, widely considered to be a political prisoner, is one of 
the longest

held in this hemisphere. He was arrested in 1981 and sentenced to 70 
years in

prison on charges including seditious conspiracy, despite no evidence or 

of involvement in any act of violence. Twelve of his 35 years behind 
bars were

spent in solitary confinement, and support in Puerto Rico for his 
release comes

from across the political spectrum, including from strong opponents of the

independence option advocated by López Rivera, and from the island’s current

and former Governors.

The January 11 protest follows a video release last Thursday by Our 

the successor to the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders, with the former

Presidential hopeful calling for clemency for Lopez Rivera and urging his

supporters to contact the White House. Emails, texts, and tweets 
continue to flow

demanding that President Obama take immediate action, and – in San Juan – a

supporter of López Rivera is on hunger strike to draw attention to his 

United Nations Special Representative and Nobel Peace Prize recipient José

Ramos-Horta, the former head of state of the Pacific island of East 
Timor, sent a

message to President Obama and the January 11 organizers noting, “Eight 

ago, approaching the Presidency, Barack Obama was heartily welcomed into the

community of Nobel Peace laureates with great hope on the horizon. Now, as

President Obama approaches civilian life, there can be no better way to

demonstrate restorative, peaceful and just practice than by granting 
full clemency

to Oscar Lopez Rivera.”

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

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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