RSF launches a change.org petition to pardon Jeffrey Sterling
Yesterday Reporters Without Borders (RSF) launched a petition for Jeffrey Sterling’s pardon on change.org. Sterling, a former C.I.A. operative and the latest victim in the Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers, was convicted in January of divulging classified information to New York Times journalist James Risen.
RSF has been deeply concerned by the precedent set in Jeffrey’s conviction and has launched a petition for his pardon. Jeffrey Sterling, a former C.I.A. officer, was convicted under the Espionage Act on January 26, 2015 for merely communicating with New York Times journalist James Risen. He’s now serving a 3.5-year prison sentence in a federal correctional facility in Colorado.
During Jeffrey’s trial, the Department of Justice was unable to present any direct evidence proving that he divulged classified information to Risen. They relied on circumstantial evidence -- emails and telephone conversations -- to try to make a case to a jury who would likely favor his conviction.
Because Jeffrey utilized proper channels and informed the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence of his concern for the safety of the American people, he is considered a whistleblower.
During a press conference in Washington, DC on October 15, Jeffrey’s wife Holly Sterling read portions of a letter she wrote to President Obama asking him for clemency for her husband. “This is an outrageous miscarriage of justice,” Holly said. “My husband was wrongfully sentenced to prison simply because he was in touch with a journalist. Jeffrey and I will not give up hope that many will soon realize the wrong that has been done and will help to make sure that Jeffrey will be vindicated. I will not cease discussing this tragedy in hopes that it will garner enough support for his release.”
To support Holly’s request, RSF has launched a petition for Jeffrey’s pardon on change.org.
RSF, RootsAction and ExposeFacts lead a coalition of organizations in support of this petition. The Bill of Rights Defense Committee / Defending Dissent Foundation, Center for Media and Democracy, Freedom of the Press Foundation, The Nation magazine and Restore the Fourth are also supporting the petition.
Support Holly’s request and sign the petition on change.org/pardonforjeffrey
Use #pardonforjeffrey on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to help spread the message.