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Forfatterens brev til president Obama

Dear President Obama,

I am contacting you in order to express my views and support of Native American Leonard Peltier and his impending review for parole.

I am a Danish musician, author and concerned citizen.

Based upon our countries´ common morals, integrity, and support of humanitarianism, my concern is that the matter of Leonard Peltier´s parole and release is of paramount significance.

I feel that it is relevant to point out that Leonard Peltier has been incarcerated thirty-three years based upon what USA´s very own courts have admitted was fabricated evidence, both withheld, and then later discovered to be tampered and questionable. These very courts have admitted that Leonard Peltier did not commit the murders of the FBI agents at the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1976. It is obvious Leonard Peltier was persecuted based upon his beliefs and refusal to accept the injustices imposed upon the peoples at Pine Ridge during that time.

Because of these facts, I feel that the system has failed, and the continued incarceration of Leonard Peltier is a sad commentary of our western civilization and the humanitarian values, we profess to have for each other.

Further I urge you to take into consideration Leonard Peltier´s high age and his very critical health conditions. And further to this the insufficient medical treatment that is available for him in prison.

I have in fact written a book - Behind the Black Hills: A Danish Author´s Travels Through Indian Land - based on my research travels to Indian reservations in South Dakota in the year 2000 and again in 2004.

The 250 page hardcover book will be released in Danish on July 28 - the very date of Leonard Peltier´s Parole Hearing.

Harvey Arden, author of the books WISDOMKEEPERS: Meetings With Native American Spiritual Elders and Have You Thought of Leonard Peltier lately has granted me the honor of writing the foreword to my book.

During my travels on the indian reservations I came to realize how much suffering the white europeans have caused to other races during the last hundreds of years. I think that this realization fully came to me, the first time I visited Wounded Knee during the summer 2000.

It was a saddening and shameful experience. I couldn´t hold back my tears. It was during my grandfather´s and great grandfather´s generations that we committed genocide on almost the entire population of the original people in America - 40-60 million people. A fact that very few European people are aware of today. My country, Denmark, was one of the first nations to ship black slaves from Africa to America - from the very fords in Ghana you´ve just been visiting. I cover these events in my book, as I believe it is important for us (the White Europeans and our successors - the White Americans) to face our wrongdoings in the past, in order to change for a better future.

In my last chapter " USA vs. Leonard Peltier", I describe Mr. Peltier´s case in detail.

It is my strong impression, that there is a growing awareness and attention in the Scandinavian countries on the First Nation people´s issue in America, and on Leonard Peltier´s case in particular.

Today Leonard Peltier represents a symbol to the Native American people, as Nelson Mandela did to the black people under the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

I believe that Leonard Peltier is innocent of the crimes for which he is convicted. But innocent or not - I think this man and his family has suffered enough. It would be a noble act - an act of healing so many wounds of the past - to let Leonard Peltier live the rest of his life as a free man.

I´m asking you to look into this matter. It would not only be an act of great humanness to let this old and sick man go back home to his family. It would also be an act of historical significance - that the long chain of broken treaties, broken promises and oppression of the American Indians has come to an end.


Ole Sveigaard

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