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Peltier’s health has deteriorated at the maximum security prison where he is confined as a U.S. political prisoner.
The Gloria La Riva for President 2020 Campaign, the slate run by the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), has announced that Leonard Peltier has regretfully withdrawn as vice presidential candidate as his health has deteriorated in prison.
Peltier has been locked up as a United States political prisoner on s sentence which has now stretched for 44 years, for his role in fighting for the rights of Indigenous peoples and their sovereignty, as a leader within the American Indian Movement.
Held at a maximum security prison in Florida, Peltier is being deprived of necessary facilities and is seeking compassionate release or commutation of his sentence, as well as immediate transfer to a medical facility for proper medical treatment.
La Riva’s campaign said that they and his legal team believes that the focus must be directed toward his health and legal matters, saying the PSL is deeply honored for Peltier to have accepted the nomination in September 2019.
Gloria La Riva on her running mate Native American leader Leonard Peltier:
"Leonard is a continued victim of the U.S. wars against native peoples, the genocide that intensified in the mid-1800s and store virtually all native land in the United States." @LaRivaPeltierpic.twitter.com/vuI72saDs5
In a message regarding his withdrawal to La Riva on July 29, Leonard wrote:
“I know this is a huge disappointment to you as it is mine, that I have to drop out of the campaign with Gloria La Riva. My medical problems are not getting any better. I need to try to get home or at least closer. If so, it would be easier to get out. So please, forgive me if I have disappointed any of you. I did not intend to. Nor was I dropping out because I did not believe in it. I'm seriously hurting. Just know I love you young people who support me. You're awesome. Thank you for your support and love. Doksha, Leonard Peltier”
The PSL’s statement informs that Sunil Freeman, described as a “Washington DC-based long-time activist and fighter for justice” who joined the PSL in 2005, will stand on the ticket with La Riva.
The ticket has been on the ballot in several states and the PSL/La Riva platform has made way for renewed calls for Peltier’ release and U.S. political prisoners like him.