UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples James Anaya, along with board member for the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) and National Native American Prisoners Rights Coalition (NNAPRC) Leonard Foster visited imprisoned indigenous activist Leonard Peltier yesterday.
San Francisco – UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples James Anaya, along with board member for the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) and National Native American Prisoners Rights Coalition (NNAPRC) Leonard Foster visited imprisoned indigenous activist Leonard Peltier yesterday.
Foster released a statement saying, “the visit today by Special Rapporteur James Anaya to Leonard Peltier in prison is very significant and historic for us and we thank him for working with IITC to make this possible. This will support efforts for Executive Clemency for Leonard Peltier and promote reconciliation and justice in this case.”
A press release sent out stated “Leonard Peltier was convicted in 1977 for “aiding and abetting” in the deaths of two FBI agents during a fire fight on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota in 1975. Two other defendants were acquitted based on self-defense. Although the US courts as well as Amnesty International have acknowledged government misconduct, including forcing witnesses to lie and hiding ballistics evidence indicating his innocence, Mr. Peltier was denied a new trial on a legal technicality. The late Nelson Mandela and Mother Theresa, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, 55 Members of the US Congress, the National Congress of American Indians, Assembly of First Nations, the US Human Rights Network and many others — including a judge who sat as a member of the Court in two of Mr. Peltier’s appeals — have called for his release.”
Since 2012, Anaya has visited both the United States and Canada on official United Nations business to asses the treatment of indigenous peoples by the state. His recommendations from the American visit included specific mention of Peltier, saying, “Other measures of reconciliation should include efforts to identify and heal particular sources of open wounds. And hence, for example, promised reparations should be provided to the descendants of the Sand Creek massacre, and new or renewed consideration should be given to clemency for Leonard Peltier.”
The International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) is an organization of Indigenous Peoples from North, Central, South America, the Caribbean and the Pacific working for the Sovereignty and Self Determination of Indigenous Peoples and the recognition and protection of Indigenous Rights, Treaties, Traditional Cultures and Sacred Lands.