CONFERENCE OF PRESIDENTS LEADERS URGE INTENSE EFFORT TO FREE US CITIZEN ALAN GROSS HELD IN CUBAN JAIL

GROSS IN PROTEST HUNGER STRIKE
New York, NY

Robert G. Sugarman, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, CEO, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations called on the governments of the United States and Cuba to immediately renew negotiations to gain the release of Alan Gross, an American citizen who is on a hunger strike in his Cuban prison. Gross has been held for more than fifty two months on spurious charges related to his employment by USAID.

 

“After more than four years of unjust detention in a small cell with two other prisoners for twenty hours a day, Mr. Gross has taken the drastic step of a hunger strike that started on April 3. He is reported to have lost ten pounds on top of the more than 100 pounds he has lost since his incarceration.

 

“We have long advocated for Mr. Gross’ release including at meetings with US and Cuban officials but to no avail. We believe that his case has not been given the urgent attention it warrants. The US government has a special responsibility to Mr. Gross who is fasting to ‘object to mistruths, deceptions and inaction by the governments...’ and to call attention to 'the lack of any reasonable or valid effort to resolve this shameful ordeal.’ He is being held hostage to apparently unrelated demands and actions.

 

“Mr. Gross must know that he is not forgotten by his government. He should be released in time for the upcoming Passover holiday so he may spend it in freedom with his family. It is urgent to bring him home,” said Sugarman and Hoenlein.

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The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 50 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern

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