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UPDATED - Leonard Peltier brutalized

21 January 2009 & Updated 26, 28, and 31, January 2009.

Notes: Following is an extremely urgent letter from Leonard Peltier's sister.

This campaign goes to the heart of justice or betrayal.
Please take action and tell Obama this is his chance
to right a tragic wrong for over the last three decades.
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Update 30 January 2009 - Due to worldwide support, Leonard
has been transferred back to Lewisburg. But this does not
release him from harm or injustice. TAKE ACTION!

URGENT ALERT! Leonard Peltiers safety is in jeopardy!
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2009 17:20:21 -0800 (PST)

Dear LP Supporters

I am so OUTRAGED! My brother Leonard was severely beaten upon his arrival at the Canaan Federal Penitentiary. When he went into population after his transfer, some inmates assaulted him. The severity of his injuries is that he suffered numerous blows to his head and body, receiving a large bump on his head, possibly a concussion, and numerous bruises. Also, one of his fingers is swollen and discolored and he has pain in his chest and ribcage. There was blood everywhere from his injuries.

We feel that prison authorities at the prompting of the FBI orchestrated this attack and thus, we are greatly concerned about his safety. It may be that the attackers, whom Leonard did not even know, were offered reduced sentences for carrying out this heinous assault. Since Leonard is up for parole soon, this could be a conspiracy to discredit a model prisoner.

He was placed in solitary confinement and only given one meal, this is generally done when you won't name your attackers; incidentally being only given one meal seriously jeopardizes his health because of his diabetes. Prison officials refuse to release any info to the family, but they need to hear from his supporters to protect his safety, as does President Obama. His attorneys are trying to get calls into him now.

This attack on LP comes on the heels of the FBI's recent letter, prompting this attack by FBI supporters as an attempt to discredit LP as a model prisoner. Anyone who has been in the prison system knows well that if you refuse to name your attackers or file charges against them, then you lose your status as a victim and/or given points against your possible parole and labeled as a perpetrator.

It is not uncommon, in fact is quite common for the government to use Indian against Indian and they still operate under the old adage "it takes an Indian to catch an Indian". In 1978, they made an attempt to assassinate him through another Indian man who was also at Marion prison with LP. But Standing Deer chose to reveal the plot to him instead of taking his life in exchange FOR A CHANCE AT FREEDOM. When Standing Deer was released in 2001, he joined the former Leonard Peltier Defense Committee as a board member. He also began to speak on Leonard's behalf until his murder six years ago today. Prior to his murder, Standing Deer confided with close friends and associates that the same man who visited him in Marion to assassinate Peltier, had came to Houston, TX and told him that he had better stay away from Peltier and anything to do with him.

We are aware that currently, the FBI is actively seeking support for his continued imprisonment of Leonard Peltier and also also seeking support from Native People. So please be aware, and keep Leonard in your prayers. The FBI is apparently afraid of the impact we are having. If they will set him up to blemish his record just before a parole hearing, what will they do when it looks like his freedom will become a reality? We need to make sure that nothing happens to him again!

Please write the President, send it priority or registered mail. Call your congressional representatives and write letters. Do what you can to get the word out to insure that LP is receiving adequate medical attention for his injuries.

I am asking you, supporters of Leonard and advocates of justice at this time to help. I don't know what else to do. Please Help!

Thank you
Betty Peltier-Solano
Executive Coordinator
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee

Leonard Peltier

US Penitentiary
PO Box 1000
Lewisburg, PA 17837


UPDATE -Family members received a phone call from Leonard on January 22. He was jumped by young gang members. He's been put in solitary, he says, and won't be released again into the general population. He was told by the FBI that he was the victim in the attack, the proof of this being a videotape. Assured that he'd enjoy all his privileges upon his transfer to USP-Canaan, he's now been told he'll be allowed only one phone call a month. Two attorneys attempted to get inside the prison to meet with Leonard, but their requests for legal visits were denied. Peltier is clearly being isolated from friends and family and even his attorneys.

Sheila Dugan, Esq., an attorney residing in Pennsylvania and working with Peltier attorney Michael Kuzma was able to visit Leonard on January 24 for four hours. She saw his bruises. Leonard's chest still hurts. Leonard was not taken to a hospital to be examined. He was beaten up by two other inmates.

Leonard is in solitary confinement and is allowed only one call a month! As crazy as it sounds, he doesn't have a comb so he can't comb his hair. Also, this was a non-contact visit. There was a glass barrier separating Leonard and Ms. Dugan. She had to talk to him via phone for the entire four hours. The below letter to the Bureau of Prisons was written on January 24 by Michael Kuzma. Please consider writing letters of concern to the BOP as well!
Federal Express #8628 9879 0796
January 24, 2009

Mr. Harley G. Lappin, Director
Bureau of Prisons
320 First Street, N. W.
Washington, D. C. 20534
Re: Leonard Peltier, #89637-132

Dear Director Lappin:

I represent Mr. Leonard Peltier, #89637-132, who is currently incarcerated at USP Canaan.

Mr. Peltier was recently transferred to USP Canaan from USP Lewisburg. It is my understanding that Mr. Peltier was brutally attacked on or about January 13, 2009. Mr. Peltier suffered a possible concussion, the middle finger on his left hand may be broken or is badly injured, he has a large bump near his right wrist, the right side of his rib cage and chest are in a pain, the right side of his chest is bruised as is his left knee, and he is now having headaches, which Mr. Peltier believes are a direct result of the January 13, 2009 beating.

It is clear that Mr. Peltier is in grave danger at USP Canaan. By letters dated November 29, 2008 and December 15, 2008, I requested that Mr. Peltier be transferred to the Turtle Mountain reservation or, in the alternative, he be sent to Sandstone FCI or Oxford FCI. As I noted in my letter of December 15, 2008, on August 20, 2008 Mr. Peltier sought to be transferred to Sandstone FCI or Oxford FCI. A copy of the "Inmate Request to Staff" form dated August 20, 2008 that Mr. Peltier submitted to Case Manager Rothermel is once again enclosed for your information.

Please advise me of what steps, if any, you have taken to ensure Mr. Peltier's safety. More specifically, I would like to know what you have done to make sure that he is not attacked again in the future. Also, has Mr. Peltier received appropriate medical treatment for his injuries? If not, it is imperative that he sees health care professionals without any further delay so that his injuries may be properly treated.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Thank you.
Yours truly,

Michael Kuzma, Esq.

cc: Mr. Henry J. Sadowski, Regional Counsel



Peltier attorney Micheal Kuzma described Leonard's injuries during an interview on American Indian Airwaves. According to a letter received from Peltier (thus far, neither the attorneys or Leonard's family members have been able to speak directly with Leonard), the attack occurred on January 13. Leonard believes he may have a concussion and he's suffering from headaches that are a direct result of the beating. His middle finger on his left hand may be broken. He has a large bump near his right wrist. He is experiencing pain in the area of his right rib cage and chest (which is bruised). Listen to the interview (last 20 minutes of the program):

Please continue your contacts to demand that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) ensure the safety of Leonard Peltier. In all your contacts with entities within the BOP, please make certain to reference Leonard's ID number: Leonard Peltier #89637-132. Let the BOP know we will hold them accountable for Leonard's wellbeing.

Sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution, Obama has a responsibility to investigate the treatment of Leonard Peltier #89637-132 and to provide relief. Contact President Obama:

The Honorable Barack H. Obama
President, United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Comments: 202-456-1111
Fax: 202-456-2461

Also write to your senators and your representative in Congress. See to identify and locate your Members of Congress. You can also write to the print and electronic media. Find you local media outlets at Letters to editors also can be made easy through free online services such as In a few clicks your letter will be on its way to the editor of your choice: Also, write to the following organizations. Ask for their continuing advocacy on Leonard's behalf:
The Honorable Larry Cox
Executive Director, Amnesty International-USA
5 Penn Plaza - 14th Floor; New York, NY 10001

The Honorable Kenneth Roth
Executive Director, Human Rights Watch
350 Fifth Avenue 34th Floor; New York, NY 10118

Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
Contact: Kari Ann Cowan
PO Box 7488; Fargo, ND 58106
Phone: 701-235-2206

January 27th, 2009, Fargo ND ­
Native Americans and supporters
outraged at FBI and George W. Bush

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) recently influenced the federal prison system to transfer elder Native American, Leonard Peltier, to a facility for young gang members whereupon his arrival he was immediately attacked and severely beaten. He was thrown into solitary confinement and denied proper medical care and food. The FBI has put out a letter encouraging others to indulge in whatever activities they can to block a possible pardon by President Obama for Leonard Peltier.

The latest ploy of that faction of government has been to enlist the help of George W. Bush by getting him to sign a clemency denial that could possibly stave off Peltier's release. This action is an extreme outrage to all the people who believe in freedom and justice for ALL. It is an outrage to all the people who are aware of the true facts of Leonard Peltier's innocence. The George W. Bush Administration and its followers obviously are trying to set a stage for anything that could possibly expand into some kind of incident that would mar President Obama, President Obama's Administration and the Democratic Party.

This incident, attacking a 64 year old Native American is unjustified and immoral. People consider Leonard Peltier an extension of themselves and his plight if allowed to continue jeopardizes the freedom of all men. If his case is allowed to stand as it has for 33 years, then no one is guaranteed a fair trial. Some might have a dream ­we have a reality. We sincerely ask President Obama to intercede in hopes that this nightmare for American Indian people will end.

For more information contact David Hill, National Coordinator
of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee, (218) 790-6035.

"Never cease in the fight for peace, justice, and equality
for all people. Be persistent in all that you do and
don't allow anyone to sway you from your conscience."

- Leonard Peltier

  • Free Leonard Peltier -- "Amnesty International considers Leonard Peltier to be a political prisoner whose avenues of redress have long been exhausted....Amnesty International recognizes that a retrial is no longer a feasible option and believes that Leonard Peltier should be immediately and unconditionally released." Documents show that although the prosecution and government pointed the finger at Peltier for shooting FBI agents at close range during the trial in 1976, for three years the prosecution withheld critical ballistic test results proving that the fatal bullets could not have come from the gun tied to Leonard Peltier. This trial also denied evidence of self defense. The U.S. Prosecutor, during subsequent oral arguments, stated: "we can't prove who shot those agents". The Eighth Circuit found that "There is a possibility that the jury would have acquitted Leonard Peltier had the records and data improperly withheld from the defense been available to him in order to better exploit and reinforce the inconsistencies casting strong doubts upon the government's case." Yet, a new trial was denied. Judge Heaney, who authored the denial now supports Mr. Peltier's release, stating that the FBI used improper tactics to gain Mr. Peltier's conviction. A good way to learn about Leonard Peltier is to read his book: Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance. For excerpts, see the following link, under article by Louise Erdich: Time for Human Rights on Native Ground. This YouTube of Leonard reading his own words to music and photos is really beautiful. For more resources: Free Leonard Peltier!

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