Sample News Release for December Release of Prisoners of Conscience Print
The following release should be tailored from a local angle.

December [Day], 2002
for immediate release
Local Contact: [Name and Phone Number]
SOA Watch Contact: Matthew Smucker, 202.903.7257, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

[Your Town] Resident(s) Completes Three-month Prison Term for Civil Disobedience at School of the Americas

Interviews Available [if applicable]

[Your town] resident [Defendant?s name] will be released from federal prison this week after completing a three-month sentence for civil disobedience at the School of the Americas (renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) in Columbus, Georgia. [Defendant?s last name] is among eleven human rights activists scheduled for release this week; fifteen remain in prison to complete six-month sentences. These ?prisoners of conscience? were among 10,000 who gathered in November, 2001 to call for the closure of the SOA/WHISC. The defendants peacefully crossed onto Ft. Benning, site of the school.

[Paragraph about local defendant/s and local group, including any upcoming events that are open to the media]

?The SOA is the terrorist training camp in our own backyard,? said [defendant or local organizer/clergy/politician].

The SOA/WHISC is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers. Its graduates are consistently involved in human rights abuses and atrocities. In 1996 the Pentagon was forced to release training manuals used at the school that advocated the use of torture, extortion and execution.

Nearly 100 people have served a total of over fifty years in prison for engaging in nonviolent resistance in a broad-based campaign to close the school. Last month 10,000 people converged at Ft. Benning?s gates again. Eighty-six people who crossed onto the base are scheduled to go to trial January 27.

Those who speak out for justice face prison time while SOA-trained torturers and assassins still operate with impunity,? said [defendant or local organizer/clergy/politician].

SOA Watch works to stand in solidarity with people of Latin America, to change oppressive US foreign policy, and to close the SOA/WHISC. [or your group?s mission sentence]

[School of the Americas Watch, or your group?s name]
[www.soaw.orgsroom, or your group?s website]

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