USA: Anaya’s Visit to Peltier Boosts Clemency Efforts
James Anaya, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, made a historic visit to American Indian Movement member Leonard Peltier in prison on Friday – an event expected to boost the growing movement to free the American Indian activist who is believed by Amnesty International and other organizations to be a political prisoner. Peltier, Turtle Mountain Ojibway, is in United States Federal Penitentiary in Coleman, Florida, now serving his 37th year in prison in what is widely believed to be a wrongful conviction.
Anaya made an official visit to the U.S. in the spring of 2012 to examine the human rights situation of Indigenous Peoples here. After visiting and hearing testimony from Indigenous Nations, Peoples, organizations and communities around the U.S. he issued a report, called “The situation of Indigenous Peoples in the United States of America,” in which he talked about Peltier’s case: “A more recent incident that continues to spark feelings of injustice among Indigenous Peoples around the United States is the well-known case of Leonard Peltier,” Anaya wrote. “After a trial that has been criticized by many as involving numerous due process problems, Mr. Peltier was sentenced to two life sentences for murder, and has been denied parole on various occasions. Pleas for presidential consideration of clemency by notable individuals and institutions have not borne fruit. This further depletes the already diminished faith in the criminal justice system felt by many Indigenous Peoples throughout the country.”
Tags: Global governance