The uphill battle in pardoning U.S. political prisoners

eu-startpage-com_2016-12-06_17-41-48The uphill battle in pardoning U.S. political prisoners – [finalcall.com] – Two noteworthy political prisoners who have long sought commutations from Obama and other presidents before him: Leonard Peltier and Oscar López Rivera. Both men are longtime activists who have each served more than 30 years in prison and garnered international support for their release from figures such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and organizations such as Amnesty International. According to an article published in UK-based newspaper The Guardian, Mr. López Rivera is one of the U.S. and world’s longest-serving political prisoners. Now age 73, he has spent more than half his life behind bars. He was convicted of killing or hurting no one. In 1981 he was convicted on “seditious conspiracy” stemming from an alleged plot against the U.S. in the fight for the independence and sovereignty of his home country of Puerto Rico. Mr. López Rivera is accused of being a leader in the Puerto Rican nationalist group Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN). The organization was charged in a series of bombings in Chicago and New York in the 1970s and 1980s. Mr. López Rivera as well as supporters are adamant he was not involved in the bombings and there was no evidence connecting him. Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the smash Broadway musical, Hamilton, confronted President Obama about López Rivera face to face during a White House visit in October. On Oct. 9 thousands of supporters gathered outside the White House bearing placards of the long-time freedom fighter and calling on Obama to set him free. His clemency petition lies on the desk of President Obama. On Dec. 8 a group of supporters from Puerto Rico and the U.S. held a press conference on Capitol Hill several days after the White House received more than 100,000 signatures asking for his release reported nbcnews.com.

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