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.