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Protest June 18th in D.C.: Colombian revolutionary Ricardo Palmera endures retrial

By National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera

Fight Back News Service urges all our readers to join the June 18 protest to demand freedom for Ricardo Palmera. We are circulating the following statement from his defense committee. Also, click here to see the Colombia Action Network statement endorsing the June 18 protest and freedom for Ricardo Palmera.

Washington D.C. – Colombian revolutionary Ricardo Palmera is on trial for a second time under orders from the Bush Administration. The National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera is calling for a protest to demand his immediate release on June 18th at the D.C. Federal Court Building. Professor Palmera’s supporters will then pack the courtroom.

Ricardo Palmera is 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 step down or recuse himself from the case. Judge Hogan was caught colluding with U.S. Prosecutor Ken Kohl. Judge Royce Lambert, a Ronald Reagan appointee, is Hogan’s replacement on the bench.

“The U.S. government has no right to put Ricardo Palmera on trial, let alone keep trying him until they get a guilty verdict,” says Tom Burke of the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera. “Palmera is a good man who has done nothing wrong. Palmera spends all his energy fighting for social justice and the liberation of the Colombian people, who live under a U.S.-backed death squad government. President Bush and President Uribe are desperate because of growing public concern in both countries about lying, cheating, and paramilitary death squad murders.”

Angela Denio, also of the National Committee, urges all progressive people to join the June 18th protest, stating, “The Bush administration and the increasingly isolated President Uribe are criminalizing the fight for freedom and justice. People around the world are watching the travesty of Palmera’s trial. Palmera is not allowed witnesses, and the Judge and Prosecutor are even trying to limit what Palmera can say. The only fair trial is no trial – we demand Professor Palmera’s immediate release.”

Free Ricardo Palmera!

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

Monday, June 18th, 2007

8:30 a.m. picket line, 9:00 a.m. press conference

Federal Court Building (333 Constitution Ave. NW)

Washington, D.C.

National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera

For more info contact Tom Burke at 773-844-3612 or Mick Kelly at 612-715-3280.

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