[IRP] Academic/Human Rights - Columbia

M I Franklin cos02mf
Tue Apr 12 00:21:45 EEST 2011

Dear Al

See below for open letter on petition to free Miguel Beltran.

Dear colleague,
 Please help your colleague imprisoned in Colombia
 I am writing with a very urgent plea for your help. I need your assistance 
once more to defend Dr Miguel Beltran, who has now been detained without 
conviction in Colombia for 22 months and who once more faces the opening of 
a trial for 'rebellion'.
 Please add your name to our new online letter protesting at his trial 
here: http://www.ucu.org.uk/Beltranopenletter
 Dr Miguel Beltran is a Colombian academic. He has been imprisoned since 
May 2009 accused of 'rebellion' and is currently detained in La Picota 
Prison, Bogota, without being convicted of any crime. Colombia is one of 
the most dangerous places in the world for trade unionists, human rights 
activists, journalists and educators.
 Dr Beltran is a widely respected academic who has taught at a number of 
Colombian universities. You can read more about him and his work here: 
 He has published research on the Colombian conflict and is an outspoken 
critic of the government. He has been charged with 'rebellion', tortured, 
detained for 22 months and is currently held in a prison where 90% of the 
inmates are paramilitaries.
 UCU and Justice for Colombia are campaigning together for the release of 
Dr Beltran. We have written to the governments of the UK and Colombia and 
we have had an open letter placed in the Colombian press, where it won a 
lot of coverage.
 UCU members have already shown that international solidarity and academic 
freedom are not mere words but powerful ideas that we cherish and campaign 
on.? Now, I need your help once more.
 Dr Beltran's trial has been repeatedly postponed, most recently after it 
was alleged that evidence against him had been manipulated. However, on 3 
May, it will begin again.
 Please support our colleague one more time by adding your name to this 
open letter to President Santos. Add your name by clicking here: 
 Please then circulate this message to your colleagues, whether or not they 
are UCU members. We will then place this letter in the Colombian press in 
advance of the trial's opening.
 Thank you for your continuing support. I will keep you updated on Dr 
Beltran's case.
 Yours sincerely
 Sally Hunt
UCU general secretary

Dr Marianne Franklin
Convener of the Transnational Communications & Global Media Program
Media & Communications
New Cross
London SE14 6NW
United Kingdom
Tel (direct): #44 (0)207 919-7072
Fax: #44 (0) 207 919-7616
email: m.i.franklin at gold.ac.uk

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