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Thursday, 16 August 2012

Support Colombian Prison Strikers: Take Action Today!

An appeal from the alliance for global justice:

TAKE ACTION FOR COLOMBIA'S STRIKING PRISONERS!

Over 11,000 Colombian prisoners in 21 penitentiaries have been participating in a hunger strike and other forms of nonviolent protests since August 2nd. They are demanding sanitary and healthy conditions, an end to overcrowding and an end to the extraditions out of Colombia of prisoners important to the peace process. Degrading conditions in Colombian prisons are part of a restructuring of the penal system that has been funded and advised by the US government. On Wednesday, August 15, 2012, Colombians in Bogotá will be protesting at both the US Embassy and the Colombian Capitol. 

Following is a sample script for emails or phone calls:

I am contacting you in solidarity with the more than 11,000 hunger strikers in 21 Colombian prisons who are demanding better conditions and a legitimate peace process. They are calling on the Colombian government to declare a State of Emergency in the country's corrections facilities and to install a National Board of Consultation with inmate representation to end the prisons' humanitarian crisis.

I demand that the US government investigate the US funded and advised Program for the Improvement of the Colombian Prison System (PICPS). US oversight has helped create these bad prison conditions.  Under the PICPS, assaults and torture of prisoners have become commonplace, food is often spoiled, rotten and contaminated, access to clean water is limited to a few minutes per day and health care is routinely denied.

I also call on the US government to end its practice of extraditing Prisoners of War and paramilitary prisoners whose presence in Colombia is needed for the country's peace process and fact finding efforts. Especially I call on the US government to end the extreme isolation of the Prisoner of War Ricardo Palmera while he is being held in the US, and to end the practice of solitary confinement in all US prisons.

To contact the Colombian Embassy:
embassyofcolombia@colombiaemb.org , or call 202-387-8338 
To contact your Congress Person:
http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

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