[Pnews] Oscar Lopez Rivera To Be Freed After 36 Years in US Prison

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jan 17 17:32:16 EST 2017


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  Oscar Lopez Rivera To Be Freed After 36 Years in US Prison

January 17, 2017

The United States government announced Tuesday the release of Oscar 
Lopez Rivera, who has been imprisoned in the U.S. for 36 years for his 
struggle to free Puerto Rico from U.S. colonial rule.

Outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama commuted Lopez' sentence, which 
will expire on May 17, according to a White House source, consulted by 
the EFE news agency.

Clarissa Lopez, daughter of Lopez, will hold a press conference 
Wednesday at 10 a.m. in reaction to his release at the Roberto Clemente 
Coliseum in San Juan. Puerto Rico.

Lopez, born in Puerto Rico in 1943, is an independence leader in his 
native country. Upon returning to Chicago after serving in the Vietnam 
War, he joined the struggle for the rights of the Puerto Rican people 
and participated in acts of civil disobedience and other actions.

In 1976 he joined the clandestine fight for the independence of Puerto 
Rico as a member of the Armed Forces of National Liberation. In 1981 he 
was captured by the FBI accused of "conspiracy" and for his militancy in 
the FALN.

At the time of his capture, he proclaimed himself a prisoner of 
war, protected in the first protocol of the Geneva Convention of 1949. 
The protocol protects Lopez for being a person arrested in conflict 
against colonial occupation.

The U.S. did not recognize the demand of Lopez and sentenced him to 55 
years in prison, after an alleged attempt to escape, the sentence 
increased to 70 years in prison, 12 of which have been spent in isolated 
confinement.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton in 1999 offered him a pardon. The 
offer was made to 13 members who accepted, but Lopez rejected it because 
it included completing 10 years in jail with good behavior. Leaders from 
around the world, as well as human rights organizations, have demanded 
the release of Oscar Lopez Rivera.

On June 18, 2012, the U.N. Decolonization Committee approved a 
resolution, promoted by Cuba, in which it called for recognition of 
Puerto Rico's right to independence and self-determination and urged the 
release of the pro-independence detainees in the United States.

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