(The Circle News) On Jan. 13, Leonard Peltier (64) was brutally assaulted by a group of inmates after being transferred to Canaan Federal Prison in Pennsylvania from another facility in the state. Peltier’s sister, Betty Peltier-Solano, says he suffered numerous head blows and “blood was everywhere.” She blames the FBI for the attack, saying they have been responsible for many attacks against him, both political and physical.
The family was not notified by the prison and received the information by way of a letter from Peltier. Micheal Kuzma, an attorney for Leonard Peltier’s defense, said, “According to the letter, he thinks he might have a concussion. His middle finger on his left hand is either broken or badly injured. He has a large bump near his right wrist. The right side of his rib cage and chest are in pain. He also has a bruise on the right side of his chest. He also has a bruise on his left knee, and is suffering from headaches. These headaches are a direct result of the Jan. 13 beating.”
“Once Mr. Peltier arrived at the Canaan prison facility, he was jumped by younger inmates, severely beaten, put in solitary confinement and placed upon meal restrictions despite his having diabetes and other medical conditions,” the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee (LPDOC) said in a statement.
“The family has requested copies of the video tapes of that incident to no avail. It is as if the whole scenario was contrived to detract from the fact that Mr. Peltier has been a model prisoner having more than enough points to qualify for parole,” LPDOC said.
The LPDOC said the attack on Peltier comes on the heels of the FBI’s recent letter, prompting this attack by FBI supporters as an attempt to discredit Peltier as a model prisoner. “Anyone who has been in the prison system knows well that if you refuse to name your attackers or file charges against them, then you lose your status as a victim and/or given points against your possible parole and labeled as a perpetrator. It is not uncommon, in fact is quite common for the government to use Indian against Indian and they still operate under the old adage “it takes an Indian to catch an Indian,” LPDOC said.
Since 1975 Peltier, a leader of the American Indian Movement, has been in federal prison for the shooting deaths of two FBI agents, something he and other’s claim he was framed for. (source)