Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) led a gathering of elected officials on Sunday to demand that the Bolivian government release Jacob Ostreicher, a Brooklyn resident held for more than a year in a Bolivian prison.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, former Gov. David Paterson and others joined the assemblyman along with Ostreicher’s wife and children in front of the Bolivian Mission to the U.N. to protest Bolivia’s treatment of this citizen who has been held through more than a dozen postponed hearings for 13 months.
“The Ostreicher family continues to suffer while Jacob Ostreicher languishes in a prison,” said Assemblyman Hikind. “Miriam Ostreicher wants her husband back. Jacob’s children want their father back. We cannot allow this travesty of justice to continue. Bolivia claims to be a democracy governed by laws. Here’s their chance to prove it. They must free Jacob Ostreicher now.”
Ostreicher, 53, was born and raised in Brooklyn. In December 2010, he invested in land in Bolivia and managed a rice business there until he was arrested on June 3, 2011 by Bolivian officials. Separated from his family, Ostreicher began a hunger strike in April to bring attention to the violation of his human rights. His hearings have been delayed more than a dozen times.
Also in attendance today were state Sen. John Sampson, Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs, Assemblyman Alan Maisel, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, City Councilman Brad Lander, Community Board 12 Chairman Yidel Perlstein, Community Board 12 District Manager Wolf Sender and Councilwoman Letita James.