Obama Pardons Puerto Rico’s Longest Incarcerated Political Prisoner Oscar López Rivera
The cry for Oscar López Rivera’s freedom has been heard.
In a series of final moves ahead of Inauguration Day, President Barack Obama has commuted the sentence of Puerto Rico’s last and longest-incarcerated political prisoner, one of 209 grants of commutation announced on Tuesday (Jan. 17) according to the New York Times.
A former leader of Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional (FALN), López Rivera was charged with seditious conspiracy among a string of nonviolent crimes in 1981, the year after the organization claimed responsibility for bombing attacks on more than 120 sites in the fight against U.S. colonization.
The Puerto Rican nationalist was sentenced to 55 years of prison although no evidence linked him to any of the bombings nor any violent crimes, The Guardian reports. He faced an additional 15 years behind bars after an alleged attempt to escape in 1988.
After 35 years of incarceration, López Rivera will walk free on May 17 when his sentence expires. Special shouts to the many activists, especially those from Puerto Rico, who fought tirelessly for justice.
Catch a glimpse of the celebration on Twitter below:
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) January 17, 2017
Oscar Lopez Rivera has been pardoned!!!!! 🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷 #ComingHome
— Gina Rodriguez (@HereIsGina) January 17, 2017
Liberaron a Oscar López Rivera!!
Puerto Rico, nuestra mancha de plátano salió del mismo racimo. Unidos como hermanos lo logramos 🇵🇷✊️
— Residente (@Residente) January 17, 2017
I appreciate @POTUS listening to Puerto Ricans and people worldwide who believe Oscar Lopez Rivera deserves a chance to enjoy his freedom.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 17, 2017
— Melissa MarkViverito (@MMViverito) January 18, 2017