For Immediate Release
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Human Rights Advocate Sentenced to Six Months in Federal Prison for Civil Disobedience at the School of the Americas
advocates who were arrested during the annual November Vigil to close
the School of the Americas / Western Hemisphere Institute for Security
Cooperation (SOA/ WHINSEC). Michael Walli was sentenced on Monday, June
14, 2010 to six months in federal prison.
During his November arraignment, Michael told judge Malon Faircloth that
he would not pay any bail and that he would not voluntarily return for
the trial. Michael Walli made good on his promise and Faircloth issued a
warrant for Michael's arrest. Federal marshals arrested Michael in
March 2010 at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House in Washington, DC.
Ken Hayes, Father Louis Vitale and Nancy Gwin, the three human rights
advocates who were arrested together with Michael Walli, were each
sentenced in January 2010 to six months in prison as well - the maximum
allowed for the charge of tresspass. The extremely harsh sentences are
intended to deter others from following the example of the 'SOAW 4.'
"Those who speak out for justice are facing prison time while
SOA-trained torturers and assassins are operating with impunity,"
said SOA Watch founder Father Roy Bourgeois.
The SOA/WHINSEC is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers.
Its graduates are consistently involved in human rights atrocities and
coups, including the El Mozote Massacre in El Salvador and last year's
military coup in Honduras. In 1996 the Pentagon was forced to release
training manuals used at the school that advocated the use of torture,
extortion and execution.
SOA Watch works to stand in solidarity with people of Latin America, to
change oppressive US foreign policy, and to close the SOA/WHINSEC. In November 2010, thousands will return to the gates
of Fort Benning to call for justice and accountability.
Send a message of solidarity to the prisoners:
Make plans to join the November Vigil at the gates of Fort Benning: oaw.org/take-action/november-
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SOA Watch is an independent organization that seeks to close the US Army School of the Americas, under whatever name it is called, through vigils and fasts, demonstrations and nonviolent protest, as well as media and legislative work.