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Protest June 4 in D.C.: Colombian revolutionary Ricardo Palmera faces second trial

By staff

Washington D.C. – Colombian revolutionary Ricardo Palmera will go on trial for a second time in early June. The National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera is calling for a protest to demand his immediate release on June 4 at the D.C. Federal Court Building to coincide with the opening day of arguments in his case. Palmera’s supporters will then pack the courtroom.

Ricardo Palmera was a peace negotiator for Colombia’s rebels – the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. He was kidnapped in Ecuador and extradited to the United States where he sits in solitary confinement.

Palmera’s first trial ended with a hung jury. Afterwards, presiding Judge Hogan had to recuse himself from the case, when the it came to light that Hogan was secretly colluding with the prosecution. The upcoming trial will be presided over by Reagan appointee, Judge Royce C. Lambert.

“The U.S. government has no right to proceed with this case,” says Tom Burke of the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera. “He has done nothing wrong. Palmera has spent his entire life fighting for social justice and the liberation of the Colombian people, who live under a U.S.-backed death squad government.”

Mick Kelly, also of the National Committee, urges all progressive people to join the June 4 protest, stating , “The Bush administration is trying to criminalize the fight for justice and freedom. Everyone should keep their eyes on this trial. There are reports that Palmera will not be allowed any witnesses on his behalf and that the prosecution will try to limit what Palmera can talk about. The only fair trial is no trial – and we need to demand Professor Palmera’s immediate release.”

Free Ricardo Palmera!

Picket line and press conference for Ricardo Palmera’s freedom!

June 4, 2007; 8:30 a.m. picket line, 9:00 a.m. press conference

Federal Court Building (333 Constitution Ave. NW)

Washington, D.C.

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