UN human rights lawyers have called for the immediate release of Leonard Peltier.

The lengthy detention of Native American rights activist Leonard Peltier is “arbitrary” and the US government should immediately release him, a damning legal opinion issued by the UN Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has found. is the result of

“Taking into account all the circumstances of the case, including the threat to Mr. Peltier’s health, the appropriate remedy would be to release Mr. Peltier immediately and grant him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law.” Go.” A group of legal experts is behind the 17-page opinion.

Peltier, 77, has been in prison for 46 years. Without any evidence that he has committed a crime. And After a trial that was riddled with corruption..

Even the working group of the United Nations Human Rights Council did not go into it. Obvious problems With Peltier’s conviction; It notes that it “avoids examining matters that are for national authorities to determine”, such as whether there was sufficient evidence to imprison Peltier or whether his conduct in prison had been exemplary. Is. Instead, the working group focused on whether Peltier’s parole process met international standards. This is not.

The legal opinion stated that Peltier was freed “in violation of Articles 2, 7 and 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Articles 2 (1), 9 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”. has been deprived of

The working group is saying that the disparity between Peltier’s poor health and old age, his repeated placements in solitary confinement, and his time spent in prison compared to non-Native Americans convicted of similar crimes is clear. There is evidence that his continued detention is unjust. . The opinion also cited discriminatory comments made by his parole examiners, saying, “Mr. Peltier continues to be detained because he is Native American.

The US government has six months to provide the working group with information demonstrating actions it has taken in response to the injustices described in the opinion.

“We are pleased that the working group was willing to review Leonard’s case a second time after 17 years of unfair parole proceedings and arbitrary incarceration,” said Kevin Sharp, Peltier’s pro bono attorney and President Barack Obama appointee. said a former US District Court judge. Obama’s “working group did not analyze his words. They called for immediate action, and that the US government should take Leonard’s pardon seriously and release him back into the care of his tribe.” Should.

Here is a copy of the full legal opinion, which was issued on June 7 but not publicly circulated until this month:

Peltier is in prison because the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office needed a grill man after they failed to determine that two FBI agents were involved in a 1975 shootout on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Who killed the I agents?

Peltier’s co-defendants were acquitted on the grounds of self-defense. He was the last one available, so the U.S. government arrested him and put him on a trial that would not go on in a U.S. court today. The prosecution hid important evidence. The FBI threatened witnesses and forced them to lie. On the second day of the trial, a judge admitted that she was prejudiced against Native Americans, but allowed her to stay anyway.

Based entirely on the testimony of people who were intimidated by the FBI, and working within the criminal justice system of the 1970s tilted against indigenous rights activists like Peltier, the U.S. Attorney’s Office succeeded in He was charged with murder.

The FBI The biggest obstacle is Going to Peltier’s house, even the argument for keeping him in prison is full of holes and misinformation. From all appearances, the Bureau just wants him to die in prison.

The UN Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention says Leonard Peltier’s lengthy detention is “arbitrary” and the US government should immediately release him.

But Peltier is still alive and in a Florida prison. He probably is. America’s longest serving political prisoner, from a different era of justice organized by J. Edgar Hoover. He survived a difficult bout with COVID-19 last year, and today is dealing with several serious health issues, including diabetes and an abdominal aortic aneurysm. He has maintained his innocence all these years, even when it prevented him from being paroled.

Peltier’s story continues. Hundreds of thousands of people to sign petitions in support of his release. A surprising mix of human rights leaders have called for his release, including Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and Coretta Scott King. Famous artists including Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and Rage Against the Machine have performed concerts in his name. Elected tribal leaders and the National Congress of American Indians have passed resolutions calling for forgiveness.

His supporters are urging President Joe Biden to pardon Peltier and let him spend his final years at home with his family in South Dakota. In the past year, at least four U.S. senators — Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — have separately endorsed Biden. Emphasized. Release him too.

Last weekend, Catholic News Service Unexpectedly highlighted new calls for clemency for Peltier. – ahead of Pope Francis’ historic visit to Canada this week, to apologize to local people for past abuses by the church.

The White House has been tight-lipped on whether Biden thinks it’s time for Peltier to go home.

On Monday, a White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on what the president thinks about Peltier’s continued imprisonment and whether he is considering a pardon.


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