San Francisco, October 16: “Free Oscar López Rivera, Puerto Rican Political Prisoner”

West Coast Speaking Tour

CARLOS ALBERTO TORRES (for 30 years a Puerto Rican Political Prisoner)

calling for the freedom of Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Oscar López Rivera

Culture/Music:  Rico Pabon & Las Bomberas de la Bahia- Afro Puerto Rican Bomba
WHEN:  Sunday, October 16, 2011, 4 PM
WHERE:  Mission Cultural Center (MCC)
                   2868 Mission Street, San Francisco (at 25th Street/24th St BART)
$10-50 (no one turned away for lack of funds)
In 1980 and 1981 15 Puerto Ricans were arrested and charged with seditious conspiracy -fighting for the independence of Puerto Rico.  In 1999, after many years of struggle both here and in Puerto Rico,  President Clinton commuted the sentences of most of those who remained incarcerated.  In 2010 Carlos Alberto Torres was granted parole after serving 30 years.  Oscar Lopez-Rivera remains in prison having been recently denied parole.  It is time for him to come home and be with his family and community!
for more information or to endorse:
SPONSORS:  Bay Area Boricuas & National Boricua Human Rights Network

Oscar López Rivera come home! The International Campaign for his freedom

Oscar Lopez Rivera

The National Boricua Human Rights Network (NBHRN) advocates for the release Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera. Given the injustice of his lengthy sentence, and the irrationality of his continuing imprisonment, we add our voice to the voice of the many civic, religious, political and community leaders in the U.S., Puerto Rico and abroad who have asked him to come home, be it by presidential commutation or parole.

López, arrested in 1981, is serving a sentence of 70 years for seditious conspiracy, for his commitment to the independence of Puerto Rico. He was not accused or convicted of causing harm or taking a life. His projected release date is in 2023. Having already served 29 years behind bars, including over 12 years in torturous condi­tions of total isolation and sensory deprivation, this 67-year-old man is among the longest held political prisoners in the history of Puerto Rico and in the world.

In 1999, President Clinton commuted the sentences of 11 Puerto Rican political prisoners arrested in the 1980s, after they served from 16 to 20 years. Pres­ident Clinton offered to commute Oscar’s sentence, on the condition that he serve an ad­ditional 10 years of clear conduct in prison before being eligible for release. Oscar did not accept the president’s offer, as the of­fer did not include all the Puerto Rican political prisoners at that time. Under the president’s offer, he would have been re­leased in Sept. of 2009. The conditions of Clinton’s 1999 offer to commute Oscar’s sen­tence have been fulfilled.

Of all the Puerto Rican political prisoners convicted in the early 1980’s, only Oscar remains in prison. Carlos Alberto Torres, who was not included in the commutation, was released on parole in July of 2010 after serving 30 years. All those released in the 1999 commutations are living successful lives and have fully integrated into civil society.

Oscar continues to enjoy wide support for his release, including Puerto Rican civil society: the Senate and the House of Represen­tatives, the Bar Association, former governors, virtually every reli­gious denomination, labor unions, environmentalists, academics, mayors, community activists, human rights activists, and celebri­ties. Similarly, in the United States he enjoys the support of Latino & Puerto Rican communities, including elected officials, religious leaders, community & civic leaders, as well as a groundswell of grassroots support.

One thought on “San Francisco, October 16: “Free Oscar López Rivera, Puerto Rican Political Prisoner”

  1. Dear Friends,

    My name is José López from Bayamón, Puerto Rico.

    As you probably know, in a United Nations (UN) recognized Puerto Rico decolonization process, all political prisoners would have to be released first. The UN has already called for the United States (US) to immediately release the Puerto Rico political prisoners (June 20, 2011 resolution concerning Puerto Rico decolonization).

    The United Nations’ Decolonization Committee is in its third decade of trying to eradicate colonialism in the world. In that effort, it holds a hearing every year around June (the month New York City holds its Puerto Rican Day Parade) to discuss Puerto Rico’s colonial situation.

    It would be helpful if in next year’s discussion there could be a full house in the hearing room with people interested in the decolonization of Puerto Rico. This hearing is not well publicized since some people would like to maintain the status quo forever.

    Please spread the word out to your people so that those interested in attending the June 2012 hearing could do so? This would be yet another way to put pressure on the US Government to release our heroes! The exact date has not yet been determined by the UN.

    Thank you for your time in this matter!


    José M. López Sierra

    United Partners for the Decolonization of Puerto Rico 2012

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