Partisan Defense Committee Letter

22 January 2009

Partisan Defense Committee P.O. Box 99, Canal Street Station, New York, NY 10013


Contact: Kevin Gilroy (212) 406-4252

Savagely Beaten in Prison

Free Leonard Peltier!

In January, Leonard Peltier, a leader of the American Indian Movement who has been in prison for 33 years for a crime he did not commit, was outrageously put in solitary confinement after having been savagely attacked when he was transferred to the United States Penitentiary in Canaan, Pennsylvania. In a January 20 statement, Betty Peltier-Solano, Peltier’s sister, stated: “We feel that prison authorities at the prompting of the FBI orchestrated this attack and thus, we are greatly concerned about his safety.” We print below a January 22 protest letter from the Partisan Defense Committee to USP Canaan warden Ronnie R. Holt. The PDC is a class-struggle, non-sectarian legal and social defense organization associated with the Spartacist League.

It has come to our attention that soon after his transfer to your prison, political prisoner Leonard Peltier was placed in solitary confinement and allowed only one meal a day. This is an outrage. Given this courageous man’s medical conditions, your actions put his life at risk.

Mr. Peltier had asked that he be transferred to a facility near his family and home in the Dakotas. Instead he was vindictively sent far away to USP Canaan. Shortly after his arrival he was set upon and brutally beaten, reportedly by prisoners he did not know. He sustained numerous bruises, a large lump on his head, discoloration and swelling to his hands as well as pain in his chest and ribcage. This incident is the supposed pretext for his being thrown into solitary.

Mr. Peltier is an innocent man who has been unjustly incarcerated for nearly 33 years because of his activism in defense of the rights of Native Americans. During that period his health has seriously deteriorated. He suffers from high blood pressure, a heart condition, failing eyesight and diabetes. As he is at risk for kidney failure, blindness and/or amputation, it is critical that Mr. Peltier be released from solitary confinement immediately and afforded all necessary medical treatment.

We, along with millions of others, do not believe that Leonard Peltier should have been incarcerated at all. We demand his unconditional release from prison.

*  *  *  *  *

The PDC is a class-struggle, non-sectarian legal and social defense organization which champions cases and causes in the interest of the whole of the working people.  This purpose is in accordance with the political views of the Spartacist League.