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Demand Medical Treatment for Oscar Lopez Rivera

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  • ProLibertad Campaign
    Dear ProLibertad Supporters and Allies, The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign is supporting the Human Rights Committee of Puerto Rico and the National Boricua Human
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 22, 2003
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      Dear ProLibertad Supporters and Allies,

      The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign is supporting the Human Rights Committee of
      Puerto Rico and the National Boricua Human Rights Network call to people to
      send letters to the Bureau of Prisons so that Oscar Lopez Rivera, a Puerto
      Rican Political Prisoner, receives the medical treatment for his bilateral
      hernias.

      Oscar has been denied medical attention for over 7 months. Please read the
      press release below and the sample letter below and send one out. Please
      pass these documents through your address books and list serves.

      PLEASE HELP US IN THE CAMPAIGN TO DEMAND MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR POLITICAL
      PRISONER OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA!!

      The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign
      ProLibertad@...
      http://ProLibertadWeb.tripod.com
      Bronx 718-601-4751
      Manhattan 212-927-9065
      New Jersey 201-435-3244
      _________________________________________________________________________________


      COMIT� PRO DERECHOS HUMANOS DE PUERTO RICO
      Condominio Caribbean Towers, 670 Ponce de Le�n, Apto. 1018
      San Juan Puerto Rico 00907
      787/725-6284
      PRESS RELEASE
      October 16, 2003

      The health and well being of Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar L�pez
      Rivera is at this moment at risk. Last March, Dr. Taude, a surgeon at USP
      Terre Haute, diagnosed bilateral hernias. The doctor indicated he would
      recommend to the Bureau of Prisons that the hernias be surgically repaired.
      Since that time Mr. L�pez has reported to medical staff that he has
      increasing pain in the area of the hernias. Three months ago he was still
      able to exercise vigorously, but he currently unable to do so because of the
      pain. After enduring months of pain and discomfort since diagnosis, Mr.
      L�pez again saw Dr. Taude in early October. The doctor assured Mr. L�pez
      that he had recommended surgery, but apprised him that it was up to the
      Bureau of Prisons to decided whether to provide the surgery.

      We have consulted with physicians who inform us that although the hernias
      seem to be reducible, with the increasing pain, one of the two hernias might
      become stuck, which could result in a surgical emergency.

      Oscar, serving a 70 year sentence, is not eligible for release until 2027.
      For more than half of his 22 years in prison, he was held in the most
      maximum security prisons in the United States in the strictest solitary
      confinement, politically punitive conditions calculated to break his will.
      Withholding needed medical care is another weapon in the government�s
      arsenal to seek this same end.

      Prison officials at the maximum security United States Penitentiary at Terre
      Haute, Indiana, where he is held, seem to be using his high security status
      to delay needed medical treatment, at no small cost and risk to Oscar�s
      health and well-being. We have written in protest to the Harley G. Lappin,
      director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and we are calling on all people
      of conscience to join in a letter writing campaign to insist that Oscar be
      immediately provided with the medical care their own doctors have determined
      he needs.

      Contacts in Puerto Rico:

      Comit� Pro Derechos Humanos, Condominio Caribbean Towers, 670 Ponce de Le�n,
      Apt. 1018, San Juan, PR 00907, Margarita Mergal 787/732-3209
      Contacts in U.S.:
      National Boricua Human Rights Network, P.O. Box 112, 2820 W. North Ave.,
      Chicago, IL 60647, 773/342-8022

      **********************************************************************************

      Harley G. Lappin, Director
      Federal Bureau of Prisons
      320 First Street N.W.
      Washington, D.C. 20534
      Via facsimile 202/514-6878

      Re: Oscar L�pez Rivera, 87651-024
      USP Terre Haute

      Dear Director Lappin:

      In March of 2003, a surgeon at USP Terre Haute, Dr. Taude, diagnosed Mr.
      L�pez with bilateral hernias. The doctor indicated he would recommend to the
      Bureau of Prisons that the hernias be surgically repaired. Since that time
      Mr. L�pez has reported to medical staff that he has increasing pain in the
      area of the hernias. Three months ago he was still able to exercise
      vigorously, but he currently unable to do so because of the pain. After
      enduring months of pain and discomfort since diagnosis, Mr. L�pez again saw
      Dr. Taude in early October. The doctor assured Mr. L�pez that he had
      recommended surgery, but apprised him that it was up to the Bureau of
      Prisons to decided whether to provide the surgery.
      We are concerned, based on his attorney�s consultation with qualified
      outside medical personnel, that although the hernias seem to be reducible,
      the pain is increasing, and if one of the hernias becomes stuck, the result
      could be a surgical emergency. We further understand that since he has two
      hernias, they could both be repaired at the same time so that he will have
      to recover from only one surgery, and avoiding the necessity for anesthesia
      on two occasions.

      Finally, given the political nature of the acts and beliefs for which Mr.
      L�pez is in prison�fighting for the independence of Puerto Rico� we are
      concerned that prison authorities are placing an inappropriate emphasis on
      his high security status, at no small cost and risk to Mr. L�pez� health and
      well-being. We must insist that you immediately provide him with the care
      that the surgeon has already determined he needs. You can be sure that we
      will continue to monitor his situation and advocate for his human rights.
      May we please hear your response.

      Sincerely yours,

      _________________________________________________________________
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