Timerman is Freed

“The fact that Jacobo Timerman, an innocent man, is now free is due to the worldwide outburst of indignation and protest at the injustice of his arrest, imprisonment and prolonged detention, “Rische Timerman said about her husband at a news conference today at the national headquarters of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.

The former editor and publisher of the Argentinian newspaper, La Opinion, who had been held without judicial charges for 29 months, was placed aboard an Aerolineas Argentians flight yesterday to Rome with a visa for Israel. The release of Timerman by Argentina’s military government came eight days after the Argentine Supreme Court issued a ruling that the military junta had no legal grounds to continue holding him. With Mrs. Timerman at the news conference were her sons Hector and Javier. Mrs. Timerman and Javier leave the United States tomorrow night for Israel Hector is a graduate student at Columbia University.

Rabbi Morton Rosenthal, director of ADL’s Latin American affairs department, which has been deeply involved in the struggle to free Timerman, said: “Argentina’s best known political prisoner is free; this is an historic moment. “He added, however, that there are hundreds of other Argentine citizens “unjustly incarcerated, and we will continue our efforts on their behalf.”

LOKMAN CASE CITED

One glaring case, Rosenthal said, is that of Jaime Lokman, detained without charges March 24, 1976. “The Argentine Embassy recently informed the Anti-Defamation League and the press that Mr. Lokman has been charged with certain crimes when in fact he has not,” Rosenthal said. “Such efforts to deceive public opinion only emphasize the need for justice.”He said the ADL has the names of 1200 prisoners and persons who have “disappeared.”

Nathan Perlmutter, ADL national director, said that Timerman had been released “because a free press stood up and had its say loud and clear” and because U.S. officials and organizations such as the ADL and the American Jewish Committee worked “so tirelessly in his behalf.”

Richard Maass, AJCommittee president, praised the Argentine Supreme Court’s decision as a “reaffirmation” of Timerman’s innocence. “In a last deprivation, the Argentine regime stripped Mr. Timerman of his citizenship and expelled him in such haste that he could not even bid farewell to Argentine friends and relatives, “Mass added.”Given the human rights record of this regime and the thousands of persons who have ‘disappeared’ or are still in jail in Argentina, Mr. Timerman must be counted as fortunate.”

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