Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier 2


LeonardPeltier is a political prisoner who was formerly the head of theNative American group called the American Indian Movement (AIM). Hewas charged with the murder of two FBI agents in 1975. He has beenimprisoned for over 29 years now. Many human rights organizations andprominent human rights activists, including Amnesty International,the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, NationalCongress of American Indians, the Southern Christian LeadershipConference, Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Center for Human Rights andArchbishop Desmond Tutu believe that he is a political prisoner.

Theevents surrounding his imprisonments are still unclear and unfair. Tobegin with, Leonard cannot be personally held responsible for themurder of the two government agents because even if they were shot atclose range, there is no evidence that he did it. He was arrested onthe account of being the leader. Secondly, the FBI sought falseaffidavit and threatened people into being false witnesses in orderto arrest him in Canada. Myrtle Moor was forced to lie that he wasLeonard’s girlfriend and witnessed the murder, a statement sherecanted after the trial but which did not affect the outcome.

Itseemed the government was out to arrest Leonard because as much ashis actions were based on self-defense, he was still imprisoned. Atthat time, with the help of the FBI, hired vigilantes popularly knownas GOONS attacked the people of Pine Bridge Indiana Reservation. Theincident, which led to the killing of the two government officers,was due to the suspicion that they were GOON member therefore, theLeonard-led group acted in self-defense. Insecurity had risen toall-time high due to the operations of the GOONS. Additionally, Mr.Joseph Stuntz’s death, who was Leonard’s ally, has never beeninvestigated, although it happened because of the shootout on June26, 1975. The trial was biased and unfair. In any case, the FBI couldhave been on the wrong, given all the facts surrounding the case.


AMNESTYINTERNATIONAL. (2015). . Security and Human Rights.