Leonard Peltier event in Derry on Thursday

Native America Leonard Peltier. (0702MM09)

Native America Leonard Peltier. (0702MM09)

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An event will take place in Derry on Thursday as part of a worldwide week of action calling for the release of Native American rights activist, Leonard Peltier, who has been imprisoned since 1976.

Sinn Féin councillor Gerry MacLochlainn has appealed for local people to attend the event on Thursday evening in the Gweedore Bar to hear from two members of the campaign group calling for his release, Jean Ann Day and Geri Timmons.

Leonard Peltier, from the Anishinabe and Dakota/Lakota Nations, has been in jail since 1976 for the killing of two FBI agents. He is currently imprisoned at the U.S. Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

His supporters haave always maintained he was not responsible.

Colr. MacLochlainn said; “Leonard Peltier’s case highlights the worst excesses of political policing something of which we in Ireland are only too well aware of.

“For three decades Leonard Peltier has been denied justice; denied freedom. He is now imprisoned as a political prisoner longer than Nelson Mandela. His case is littered with all of the corruption and injustice that would normally be associated with the old Apartheid regime in South Africa.”

The Northland colr. said he hoped to see a large crowd at the event. “Sinn Féin has long-held policies expressing solidarity with Leonard and calling for his freedom.

“A motion was passed at the 2007 Ard Fheis calling for his immediate and unconditional release.

“Thursday night’s event in Derry is part of a global week of action to highlight this campaign and I would urge people in the city to support the event in the Gweedore Bar at 9pm,” he said.

Veteran socialist and camoaigner Eamonn McCann has also encouraged people to attend Thursday night’s event.