Sample Press Release for July 2nd Release of Prisoners of Conscience Print
Remember to tailor the release from a local and personal angle.


July [day], 2002
for immediate release
Local Contact: [Name and Phone Number]
SOA Watch Contact: Christy Pardew, 202.234.3440 or 202.903.7257 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

[Your Town] Resident 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 or WHINSEC) in Columbus, Georgia. [Defendant?s last name] is among seven human rights activists scheduled for release this week; eleven remain in prison to complete longer sentences. These ?prisoners of conscience? were among 10,000 who gathered in November of 2003 to call for the closure of the SOA/WHINSEC. 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 out of alignment with the values of most Americans," said [defendant or local organizer/clergy/politician].
OR
?The SOA is the terrorist training camp in our own backyard,? said [defendant or local organizer/clergy/politician].
OR
[A strong, concise quote of your own choosing.]

The SOA/WHINSEC 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.

Over 170 people, ranging in age from 19 to 89, have served a total of over 75 years in prison for engaging in nonviolent resistance in a broad-based campaign to close the school.

"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 the people of Latin America, to change oppressive US foreign policy, and to close the SOA/WHINSEC. [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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