[Pnews] Leonard Peltier: “My Medical Problems are Not Getting Any Better. I am Seriously Hurting.”
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Aug 5 19:55:42 EDT 2020
Peltier: “My Medical Problems are Not Getting Any Better. I am Seriously
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
By Levi Rickert
COLEMAN, Fla. — Citing health issues, Leonard Peltier (Turtle Mountain Band
of Chippewa Indians) has taken his name off the Party for Socialism and
Liberation. Even though he has been incarcerated for the past 44 years,
Peltier, 75, was on the party’s presidential ticket as the
[image: Leonard Peltier]
His withdrawal from the ticket was announced by Gloria La Riva, who is
running for president of the PSL, and who received a statement from
“I know this is a huge disappointment to you as it is mine, that I have to
drop out of the campaign with Gloria La Riva. My medical problems are not
getting any better. I need to try to get home or at least closer,” Peltier
said in the statement. “If so, it would be easier to get out. So please,
forgive me if I have disappointed any of you. I did not intend to. Nor was
I dropping out because I did not believe in it. I'm seriously hurting. Just
know I love you young people who support me. You're awesome. Thank you for
your support and love. Doksha, Leonard Peltier.”
Peltier did not specifically name the medical condition that is causing him
to be “seriously hurting.”
Peltier’s health has long been a concern for those seeking his release from
prison for his conviction of killing two FBI agents at Oglala on the Pine
Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975.
Over the past two months, two national American Indian organizations have
called for Peltier’s release.
Copies of letters from the two organizations were sent to Native News
Online last week.
In a letter to President Donald Trump, dated June 12, 2020, the National
Congress of American Indians asks the president “to use his pardon power in
a compassionate way to right a wrong, to restore justice where justice has
been denied, and to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier.”
NCAI further requested Peltier’s release because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As of the date of this letter, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has confirmed
positive cases for 1,622 federal inmates and 196 BOP staff. We further note
that Mr. Peltier’s age places him in the 65 years or older category of
individuals the Center for Disease Control has determined are ‘at higher
risk for severe illness from COVID-19,’” the letter continued.
In the second letter, the International Indian Treaty Council asks Rep. Tom
Cole (R-OK), who is a tribal citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and
co-chairman of the Congressional Native American Caucus, to initiate
congressional action to gain release of Peltier.
Peltier suffers from heart problems and diabetes. He is incarcerated at the
Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Florida.
RELATED: Set Leonard Peltier Free Now
Supporters believe that Peltier, an Indigenous activist, was wrongfully
convicted in 1977 for a crime he did not commit. Imprisoned for more than
45 years, Peltier has the support of Amnesty International, and other human
rights organizations. Over the years, some 50 members of Congress and
others — including Judge Gerald Heaney (8th Circuit Court of Appeals) who
sat as a member of the court in two of Peltier’s appeals — have called for
his immediate release.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Peltier applied for a compassionate
release and was denied on May 1 with “not at this time” as the only
The two letters come on the heels of a letter
dated April 24, 2020, from U.S. Representatives Deb Haaland (D- NM, 1st
District) and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ, 3rd District) who also asked for
Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and
editor of Native News Online. He can be reached at levi at nativenewsonline.net
Other articles by Levi Rickert
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