ENOCH ADEJARE ADEBOYE.
(photo credit: Courtesy www.eaadeboye.com)
The international effort to bring about the release of Israeli agent Jonathan
Pollard from an American prison recently received an unexpected endorsement from
one of the most respected voices in Africa.
Nigerian pastor Enoch Adejare
Adeboye, who was named one of the 50 most powerful people in the world by
Newsweek, wrote US President Barack Obama asking him to commute Pollard’s life
sentence to the nearly 26 years he has already served.
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Christian Church of God has more than 14,000 branches in 110 countries and has
more than five million members in Nigeria alone. It has hundreds of
branches in cities across the US.
“I humbly request that the remainder of
Jonathan Pollard’s sentence is commuted in the interest of justice,” Adeboye
Adeboye’s letter is part of a trend of top current and
former African and African- American officials joining the effort to bring about
Pollard’s release ahead of the 26th anniversary of his arrest on November
Former New York City mayor David Dinkins recently wrote to Obama
complaining about the “cruelty” of Pollard not being allowed to attend the
funeral of his father, Morris, who died in June.
“I write to join the
many Americans and humanitarians worldwide who are calling upon you to exercise
your power of clemency to commute Jonathan Pollard’s prison sentence to time
served,” Dinkins wrote Obama. “I first recommended that president Clinton
consider such action in 1993, and, that failing, now find it necessary to appeal
Dinkins, who served as the mayor of New York City from
1990-1993, is the only African-American to hold that office. He currently serves
as a professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at Columbia University’s School
of International and Public Affairs. A number of other civil rights leaders have
called for Pollard’s release, including Congressman John Lewis of Georgia and
Benjamin Hooks, who served as executive director of the National Association for
the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
African-Americans who have written Obama about Pollard include Harvard Law
professor Charles Ogletree, who was President Barack and First Lady Michelle
Obama’s law professor at Harvard and remains friends with them today, and Rabbi
Capers Funnye of Chicago, who is Michelle’s first cousin.