AFL calls for release of Leonard Peltier

AFL President Audrey Cormack is calling on activists to lobby the Federal Justice Minister, Anne McLellan to demand Leonard Peltier's release.

A rally in support of clemency for the American Indian Movement activist and political prisoner will be held in EDMONTON on MONDAY, JUNE 26TH outside McLellan's constituency office (12304 -107 Avenue) at 4:30 p.m.

"It's time to increase pressure on the Justice Department. Leonard Peltier has been wrongfully imprisoned for almost 25 years, and it's time the federal government stop dragging their heels in this matter," says Alberta Federation of Labour President, Audrey Cormack.

"We are asking that the Canadian government file an official protest to the U.S. President, Bill Clinton, recommend that Leonard Peltier receive Executive Clemency, or that he receive a new trial."

On November 26, 1975, Leonard Peltier, along with three others were charged with the murder of two FBI agents during an altercation at Jumping Bull Ranch between members of the American Indian Movement and FBI agents. The charges against one of the accused were dropped. On July 16, 1976, two were acquitted in a trial in Iowa, where the defense was allowed to use the argument of self-defense.

Peltier, fearing for his life, fled to Canada. On December 18, 1976, Peltier was extradited back to the United States on the basis of affidavits, which were later shown to be false. His trial was moved to Fargo, North Dakota, where the trial judge refused to hear arguments of self-defense. Evidence supporting the defense was withheld. Peltier was convicted to two consecutive life sentences.

"The only honorable option the federal government has is to push the U.S. to grant Leonard Peltier clemency. I urge the Honorable Minister to act on this case and allow the truth to prevail. It's time for justice," says Cormack.

For further information contact:

Audrey M. Cormack, President     @     483-3021 wk/ 499-6530 cell/ 428-9367 hm

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