International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee

THE global call for clemency for Native American civil rights activist Leonard Peltier – in his 41st year of incarceration in the United States – was echoed in Belfast on Monday 12 September as sympathisers gathered at the world-famous International Wall to urge his release on his 72nd birthday.

Leonard Peltier, a leader of the American Indian Movement, was convicted in 1977 of murdering two FBI agents at the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975. He is serving two consecutive life sentences.

Newsweek magazine has reported that “the long and complicated case history reveals a pattern of misconduct by the FBI”, including the coercion of an alleged eyewitness, suppression of potentially exculpatory evidence “and deep concerns about the agency’s political motivation for so zealously pursuing the case”.

Newsweek noted that the US Parole Commission has acknowledged to Peltier the “lack of any direct evidence that you personally participated in the executions of two FBI agents”.

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