Activists continue to rally For Imprisoned Civil Rights Lawyer Lynne Stewart's Compassionate Release
Victoria L. Johnson Special to AmNews | 6/25/2013, 11:37 a.m.
On Monday, June 24th, from noon to 1:30 p.m., activists held a press conference and vigil at the Federal Bureau of Prisons (320 1st St NW, Washington DC) to further demand compassionate release for the imprisoned Civil Rights lawyer, Lynne Stewart. Stewart, who has been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer that has metastasized to her lymph nodes and shoulder, was recommended for Compassionate Release, which allows inmates to be released early on the grounds of fatal illness, six weeks ago. Now, Stewart, who is 73-years old, awaits the signature of Bureau of Prisons Director Samuels to leave the cell and receive treatment but still remains imprisoned. She has already filed all the necessary paperwork, including the approval and signature of Judge Koetl (who sentenced her originally)."Lynne Stewart meets every legal, rational and humane criterion for compassionate release," former attorney General Ramsey Clark stated, according to a press release.Stewart was jailed in 2005 for providing material support for terrorism as she was accused of distributing a press release on behalf of her jailed client, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, to al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, an Islamic organization in Egypt. Her sentence, which was originally 28 months, increased to 10 years in 2010 at the decision of Southern District of New York Judge John G. Koeltl for committing perjury in court.Comedian and social activist, Dick Gregory, has fasted for 82 days so far in support of Lynne Stewart's compassionate release."I urge you to join me in demanding freedom for Lynne Stewart. Her unwavering dedication as a selfless advocate for the poor and oppressed is legendary," Gregory said in a press release. "None of us should stand by idly while Lynne Suffers and withers away day-by-day to die in prison."Gregory, along with lawyer and activist Ramsey Clark, political writer Sara Flounders, and activist Louis Wolf were scheduled to join the press conference and vigil.