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Political Prisoner

Anti-Imperialist Youth Intensify Campaign To Free Kononovich Brothers

The World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) and its federating progressive youth groups across the world have intensified their campaign for the immediate release of Aleksander Kononovich and his brother Mikhail Kononovich, communist youths imprisoned by Ukrainian authorities. Both the Kononovich brothers belong to the leadership of the Leninist Communist Youth Union of Ukraine (LKSMU), a member organization of the WFDY. The WFDY leadership also demanded an end to all deadly, imperialist wars raging across the world. November 21 marked 260 days since the arrest and imprisonment of the Kononovich brothers by the Security Services of Ukraine (SBU). Since November 11, WFDY and its federating youth groups worldwide have organized a week-long campaign and held protest demonstrations in front of Ukrainian embassies in various countries demanding the release of the Kononovich brothers.

Mumia Abu-Jamal Denied A New Trial

Yesterday, at 12:45pm October 26, 2022, a proposed order denying Mumia Abu-Jamal’s constitutional claims of jury bias and suppressed evidence was issued by Common Pleas court Judge Lucretia Clemons.   Abu-Jamal’s defense petition included newly discovered evidence that had been buried in the prosecutor’s own files.  This evidence documented key witnesses receiving promises of money for their testimony and evidence of favorable treatment in pending criminal cases. The petition also documented the abhorrent and unconstitutional practice of striking Black jurors during Mumia’s original trial. Philadelphia ADA Jack McMahon made the policy clear in a 1986 training tape stating that getting “a competent, fair and impartial jury. Well, that's ridiculous,'…“You don't want smart people. But if you're sitting down and you're going to take Blacks, you want older Blacks."

Leonard Peltier’s 46 Years In Prison: ‘What Else Do You Want?’

Leonard Peltier’s name has become a story that reflects other stories. One narrative describes Peltier as America’s longest political prisoner, serving more than 46 years in a federal maximum security prison. In that telling, Peltier has become a humanitarian and a 78-year-old Turtle Mountain elder who has been incarcerated for far too long. There is a long list of people, tribes and organizations that have called for Peltier’s freedom. The former prosecutor in the case. Members of Congress. Amnesty International USA. Pope John Francis. The Dalai Lama. The National Congress of American Indians. Dozens of tribal nations, including Peltier’s own tribe, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. And, as of this month, the Democratic National Committee.

John Kiriakou: A Depressing Journey

I had occasion to visit London and Jerusalem to meet with members of the (establishment) media, of the two respective parliaments and people from think tanks and universities.  I took this trip to talk with interested parties about a human rights case.  Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of a group called the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is being held in solitary confinement in a prison in Nigeria.  His crime?  He gave an interview to the BBC in which he said that Nigeria’s 70 million Biafrans want a referendum on independence.  Nnamdi is a British citizen; his wife and child live in Manchester, England.  He renounced his Nigerian citizenship years ago.  In the spring of 2021, Nnamdi was in Kenya to meet with Biafrans to discuss independence from the corrupt, violent and Muslim fundamentalist government of Nigeria. 

Walk To Freedom For Leonard Peltier Halfway To Washington

Volunteers demanding the freedom of Leonard Peltier have trekked 500 miles over the last four weeks in a protest walk organized by the American Indian Movement (AIM) Grand Governing Council. Peltier (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians), 78, was convicted of aiding and abetting in the murder of two Federal Bureau of Investigation agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation on June 26, 1975. He has spent the last 46 years in federal prison. AIM hopes the walk will raise awareness for Peltier’s plight and apply some pressure on President Joe Biden to grant executive clemency to Peltier. “The walk and prayer for Elder Peltier has been heartfelt, heavy and healing,” Walk to Justice organizer Rachel Thunder told Native News Online.

Venezuela Rejects Washington’s Statement On Imprisoned US Citizens

This Saturday, September 10, the Venezuelan government rejected, through a communique, the statement made on Friday by US Department of State spokesperson, Ned Price, labeling US Marine veteran and MVM Inc. “contractor” Matthew Heath’s detention as wrongful and his arrest as based on specious charges. At the time of his capture in September 2020, Heath had allegedly already taken photos of strategic military and oil refining facilities in Zulia and Falcón states. He entered Venezuela illegally from Colombia through Paraguachón (Zulia state) and his final destination was Aruba. To avoid being detained at checkpoints, he “hired” National Guard 3rd Sergeant Major Darwin Adreizo Urdaneta Pardo, who would be his “safeguard.”

Possible Prisoner Exchange In US Hybrid War Against Venezuela

US special presidential envoy for hostage affairs Roger Carstens is on a case which could lead to freeing Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab. Pressure is building on the Biden administration to swap Saab for some American citizens currently incarcerated in Venezuela. Alex Saab, who has been confined for over two years, is a victim of the US economic war calculated to achieve regime-change in Venezuela. He has been targeted because of his role in helping circumvent the sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the US. These measures, really collective punishment, are intended to make conditions so onerous there that the people would renounce their elected government. Such unilateral coercive measures are illegal under international law.

Leonard Peltier’s Walk To Justice demands Release Of Political Prisoner

On September 1, Leonard Peltier’s Walk to Justice departed from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The march will pass through multiple cities, finally ending in Washington, DC on November 14. Rallies and prayer sessions will be held along the route. The walk is being coordinated by the American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council to demand elder Leonard Peltier’s release from federal prison. Leonard Peltier has been unjustly held as a political prisoner by the U.S. government for over 46 years, making him one of the world’s longest incarcerated political prisoners. He is the longest held Native American political prisoner in the world. Peltier was wrongly convicted and framed for a shooting at Oglala on June 26, 1975.

Venezuelan Lawyer Laila Tajeldine: Alex Saab, A Political Prisoner Of US Empire

More than two years have already passed since, on June 12, 2020, Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab was illegally kidnapped during a technical stopover in Cape Verde and taken to prison, without an arrest warrant. He would remain there until October 16, 2021, when he would be deported to the United States, despite the fact that the appeal against his extradition had not yet been concluded, and despite repeated protests from various international organizations against the arbitrary detention and torture that he has suffered. Blackmailed by the US government, the government of Cape Verde, already at the end of its legislative period, had remained deaf to the exhortations of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), of which the island is also a member, the American League for Human Rights, the American Association of Jurists, the Hadassah National Center of Canada, and the UN itself.

Political Prisoner Simón Trinidad Settles First Amendment Lawsuit

On January 24, 2022, Simón Trinidad filed a complaint in Federal District Court in Denver, Colorado against U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and the Bureau of Prisons. The complaint (22-cr-00193) asserted that the denial of access to a Colombian attorney violated his right to freedom of speech and freedom of association guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. He further asserted that his access to an attorney was critical, as he has numerous cases in the Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz (JEP), or Special Peace Jurisdiction, a specialized court in Colombia created to resolve issues related to Colombia’s 50-year armed conflict between the Colombian government and the FARC. In 2017 Simón Trinidad requested access to a Colombian lawyer and his request was denied.

The Persecution Of Alex Saab

“It’s not a crime to fulfill a diplomatic mission. It’s not a crime to evade sanctions that are harming an entire country. It can’t be illegal to help a people.” Camilla Fabri Saab made these impassioned remarks when explaining the situation behind the illegal arrest and extradition - the kidnapping, in essence - of her husband, Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab. Alex Saab is virtually unknown in the United States, where he is currently languishing in a Miami prison, but he has been vital to Venezuela’s ability to survive the brutal economic war being waged by the U.S. He is a political prisoner whose case has parallels to that of Julian Assange. Both have been subjected to extraterritorial reach by U.S. authorities, as neither are U.S. citizens, and their alleged crimes took place outside of the country.

Boston Demands ‘Free Leonard Peltier’

Jericho Movement Boston,  United American Indians of New England (UAINE), and Boston BDS called for a standout in front of the JFK Federal Building in Boston on Monday, February 7, 2022 at 4:00 pm to call attention to international calls to free Native American prisoner Leonard Peltier, now 77 and ill with COVID-19.  Known internationally as the most famous and longest-serving Native American political prisoner in the US, Peltier has been imprisoned since 1976 on charges that he shot two FBI agents on Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975. Peltier was framed up for a crime he did not commit. Witnesses perjured themselves at the behest of federal authorities, and the FBI suppressed ballistics evidence that would have exonerated him.

Feb. 3 Webinar: Camila Saab, Wife Of Diplomat/US Political Prisoner

Alex Saab is a Venezuelan diplomat the US government has illegally seized and imprisoned for what the US considers “violation” of the illegal US economic warfare on Venezuela. He was in fact assisting Venezuela in legally working around the US blockade on his country by finding the means to import food, medicine, and materials for the Venezuelan oil industry. The US is seeking to coerce Alex Saab into disclosing the methods Venezuela uses to circumvent the US-Canadian-European sanctions with the goal of further tightening the economic blockade and suffering on the Venezuelan people. These sanctions are illegal according to the United Nations. His seizure by the US violates long-standing international law for one country to arrest and imprison a diplomat of another country.

American Indian Movement Announces Walk For Leonard Peltier

Minneapolis, Minnesota - The American Indian Movement’s Grand Governing Council (AIMGGC) announced on Tuesday that it’s organizing a freedom walk for Leonard Peltier later this year, from September 1 through November 14, 2022. “Leonard Peltier’s Walk to Justice” will start in Minneapolis and end in Washington, D.C., where organizers plan to meet with government officials to demand the release of Peltier from the U.S. federal prison system. “The vision and prayer for this walk—Leonard Peltier’s Walk to Justice—began almost two years ago through dreams,” said American Indian Movement of Indiana and Kentucky Chapter Director Rachel Thunder to Native News Online. “We, AIMGGC, knew we had to move in a big way to see Elder Leonard Peltier released.”

It’s Time To Free Leonard Peltier, Longest Serving Political Prisoner

Too few have heard of Leonard Peltier, an American Indian Movement activist who has been imprisoned for 44 years based on accusations that were never proven and a trial that was appallingly mishandled. Based on his mere presence in South Dakota’s 1975 Pine Ridge Reservation shoot-out, where one Native American activist and two FBI agents were killed, Peltier has spent the better part of his life behind bars. As the website FreeLeonard.org points out, this gross miscarriage of justice has been condemned by everyone from by Amnesty International and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights to Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Rev. Jesse Jackson, among many others who consider him America’s longest serving political prisoner.
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