Amnesty International is currently organizing a petition campaign aimed at urging President Barack Obama to grant clemency to Native American political activist Leonard Peltier after nearly 40 years in federal prison.
In the 1970s, Peltier was a member of the American Indian Movement and a participant in the occupation of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which is the site of the nineteenth century Wounded Knee massacre during which 150 Lakota men, women, and children were murdered by members of the American military. (At least twenty soldiers were subsequently awarded the Medal of Honor.) On June 26, 1975, Peltier was involved in a shootout with two FBI "special" agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which resulted in the deaths of both agents and one Native American occupier. Peltier was subsequently captured in Canada and tried for the agents' deaths. In April 1977, he was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences. Despite increasing concerns and doubts regarding Pelteir's legal proceedings, he has remained in prison for nearly 40 years, 6 of which were spent in solitary confinement.
If you would like to join the growing chorus of voices demanding that Peltier be granted clemency, please use the following URL to access Amnesty International's petition:
In addition to fighting for Peltier's clemency, Amnesty International is currently promoting the cases of a number of other imprisoned and/or persecuted political activists around the world, including Edward Snowden (USA), Shawkan (Egypt), Máxima Acuña (Peru), Fomusoh Ivo Feh (Cameroon), and Eren Keskin (Turkey).