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international | rights and freedoms | press release Saturday November 03, 2012 18:19 by Friends of Leonard Peltier
Campaign to free the North American Indian Leonard Peltier
The Belgium, Ireland and Netherlands support chapters joined forces on 21th of October to speak out against the unjust imprisonment of Leonard Peltier. In Lanaken, Limburg (Belgium) a very diverse group of people gathered to celebrate their spiritual relationship with ‘Mother Earth’ during the event hosted as ‘World Drum Day’. The World Drum was created in hopes of delivering a wakeup call to humanity and the need to take care of Mother Earth
Leonard Peltier is a Native American activist wrongfully convicted in 1977 in connection with the 1975 deaths of two FBI agents. Statements by the State Attorney prosecutor and court records reveal a list of coercion of the ‘witnesses’, fabrication of the forensic evidence, lying and concealment of evidence which would have freed him – all ultimately leading to an innocent man serving life in prison.
Leonard Peltier is 68 years old and in poor health. An accomplished author and artist, Mr. Peltier is renown for his humanitarian achievements. In 2009, Leonard was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the sixth consecutive year.
Although the courts have acknowledged evidence of government misconduct – including hiding ballistics evidence reflecting his innocence – Mr. Peltier has been denied a new trial on a legal technicality.
Alice Holemans and Ann Van Eyndeneutens of the Belgium support chapter set up an action center for people to come together and talk about Leonard Peltier’s struggle for freedom. During the event, Geri Timmons from the ‘ Ireland for Peltier Campaign’, took the floor speaking out about the need for international support. ‘It is good to see so many people gathered in recognition of the need for world unity, peace, justice and harmony. It is time for us to reach out our hand in solidarity and friendship. However, in America, a man that fought for these values and to highlight the continued oppression of native people by the government was arrested, unjustly tried and convicted for defending his people. Today is the day for healing, today is the day for freedom, today is the day to take a stand, today is the day for action, join our campaign to free Leonard Peltier.’ Quetzal Tzab, from the LPDOC Amsterdam support group gave the audience an update on the actions being taken within the United Nations Human Rights Council. Mr. Tzab said ‘we can free him if we stand together, unity is important.’
Alice Holemans from the Belgium Chapter said ‘the length and breath of Europe and around the world people are calling for Leonard Peltier’s immediate release. We hope by attending events such as this, it will encourage people to add their efforts to this cause and publicise his case.’ Among those calling for his immediate release are Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Robert Redford, 55 Members of Congress, others including a prison guard who has known Leonard for 20 years and a judge who sat as a member of the court in two of Mr. Peltier’s appeal.
For more information visit the official website: