Friday, January 20, 2012

04 February: International Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier

The Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
calls on supporters worldwide to protest against
the injustice suffered by Indigenous activist
Leonard Peltier. Gather on February 4, 2012, at
every federal court house and U.S. embassy or
consulate worldwide to demand the freedom of a
man wrongfully convicted and illegally imprisoned for 36 years!

Leonard Peltier is a Native American activist
wrongfully accused in 1975 in connection with the
shooting deaths of two agents of the Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Government
documents show that, without any evidence at all,
the FBI decided from the beginning of its
investigation to 'lock Peltier into the case'.

U.S. prosecutors knowingly presented false
statements to a Canadian court to extradite Mr.
Peltier to the U.S. The statements were signed by
a woman who was forced by FBI agents to say she
was an eyewitness. The government has long since
admitted that the woman was not present during the shootings.

Meanwhile, in a separate trial in Cedar Rapids,
Iowa, Mr. Peltier's co-defendants were acquitted
by reason of self defense. Had Leonard been tried
with his co-defendants, he also would have been acquitted.

Unhappy with the outcome of the Cedar Rapids
trial, prosecutors set the stage for Mr.
Peltier's conviction. His trial was moved to an
area known for its anti-Indian sentiment­Fargo,
North Dakota. The trial judge had a reputation
for ruling against Indians, and a juror is known
to have made racist comments during Mr. Peltier's trial.

FBI documents prove that the U.S. government went
so far as to manufacture the so-called murder
weapon, the most critical evidence in the
prosecution's case. A ballistics test proved,
however, that the gun and shell casings entered
into evidence didn't match. The FBI hid this fact
from the jury. Mr. Peltier was convicted and
sentenced to two consecutive life terms.
According to court records, the United States
Attorney who prosecuted the case has twice
admitted that no one even knows who fired the
fatal shots. Although the courts have
acknowledged evidence of government
misconduct­including forcing witnesses to lie and
hiding ballistics evidence reflecting his
innocence­Mr. Peltier has been denied a new trial on a legal technicality.

An accomplished author and artist, Mr. Peltier is
renowned for his humanitarian achievements. A
six-time Nobel Prize nominee, Leonard Peltier is
67 years old and in poor health.

Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, 55 Members of
Congress and others­including a judge who sat as
a member of the court in two of Mr. Peltier�s
appeals­have all called for his immediate release.

The Courts may not be able to act but Barack
Obama, as President, can. Please join with us to
free an innocent man. On February 4, 2012, tell
Obama to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier.

Host an event or plan to attend a scheduled event
near you. View our online

LP-DOC - PO Box 7488 - Fargo, ND 58106
Phone: 701/235-2206; Fax:701/235-5045


Call to Action

In late 2011, the National Congress of American
Indians, representative of 500+ Indigenous
Nations, passed an historic resolution on
Leonard's behalf. If you are a U.S. supporter,
please print a copy of the
(PDF) and send it to your Members of
Congress. Urge them to advocate with President
Obama for Leonard's release. Other supporters
around the world may send a copy to President
Obama or a nearby U.S. embassy or
consulate. Also encourage the Assembly of First
Nations in Canada as well as other Indigenous
assemblies/organizations worldwide to pass
similar resolutions to help secure freedom for
Leonard Peltier. You may view current and past
expressions of support for Leonard Peltier


Leonard Peltier has been widely recognized for
his humanitarian works, winning
including but not limited to:

1986 Human Rights Commission of Spain International Human Rights Prize;

1993 North Star Frederick Douglas Award;

2003 Federation of Labour (Ontario, Canada) Humanist of the Year Award;

2004 Silver Arrow Award for Lifetime Achievement;

2009 First Red Nation Humanitarian Award;

2010 Kwame Ture Lifetime Achievement Award; and

2010 Fighters for Justice Award.

Most recently, Leonard was awarded the first
International Human Rights Prize by the Mario
Benedetti Foundation in Uruguay. Last week,
after a long journey, the award arrived at our
international headquarters in Fargo, North Dakota.

No comments: