August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Imprisonment of Leonard Peltier in new UN Human Rights Council report

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

A new report to the UN Human Rights Council from Special Rapporteur James Anaya states that imprisoned Indian activist Leonard Peltier is in poor health and placed in substandard conditions in the maximum security prison in Lewisburg, Penn.

The United Nations human rights report focuses on abuses of indigenous peoples around the world, including the threats to the safety of individuals and dangers to the land and environment of indigenous peoples.

Anaya's report states that Peltier, an indigenous activist serving life sentence, suffers from severe health problems.

"According to the information received, Mr. Leonard Peltier, aged 66, an indigenous Anishinabe/Lakota activist, had been serving two life sentences in a United States federal prison, after being convicted in 1977 for the murder of two FBI agents. Over the years, Mr. Peltier has maintained his innocence, asserting that he was politically persecuted for his activities as a member of the American Indian Movement. Mr. Peltier reportedly suffers from severe health problems that require urgent and immediate medical treatment. In addition to his health situation, Mr. Peltier reportedly lives in substandard conditions at the maximum security prison in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. The Lewisburg prison is allegedly known for violence among inmates," according to the statement dated July 2, 2011.

In the US, the report includes the plan to violate sacred San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, Arizona, with snow made from wastewater. The report also includes the case of the need to protect sacred Sogorea Te (Glen Cove in Calif.)

The international cases of human rights abuses in Anaya's August report include the Wixarika (Huicholes) in Mexico struggling to protect their sacred lands from mining, along with cases from indigenous peoples in Guatemala, Chile, Israel, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Malaysia and Thailand.

The UN Human Rights Council report was issued as protests increased against the tar sands in the US and Canada, with 1, 252 arrests at the White House during the past two weeks."

According to the information received, the TransCanada Corporation has obtained permission from the Alberta Utilities Commission to build the pipeline, in the absence of the Lubicon Lake Nation’s consent or recognition of the Nation’s asserted rights of the area. This has also been carried out in the absence of adequate consideration to the Lubicon’s concerns over the health, safety and environmental impacts of the project. In addition, the Special Rapporteur expressed concern over allegations about the broader issues of the land rights and social and economic conditions of the Lubicon people," Anaya said.

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