Update: 23 Jan 2009. We received a phone call from Leonard on 1/22. He was jumped by young gang members. He's been put in solitary, he says, and won't be released again into the general population. He was told by the FBI that he was the victim in the attack, the proof of this being a videotape. Assured that he'd enjoy all his privileges upon his transfer to USP-Canaan, he's now been told he'll be allowed only one phone call a month. Two attorneys attempted to get inside the prison to meet with Leonard, but their requests for legal visits were denied. Peltier is clearly being isolated from friends and family and even his attorneys.

Update: 24 Jan 2009. Sheila Dugan, Esq., an attorney residing in Pennsylvania and working with Peltier attorney Michael Kuzma was able to visit Leonard this morning for four hours. She saw his bruises. Leonard's chest still hurts. Leonard was not taken to a hospital to be examined after he was beaten by two other inmates.

Leonard is in solitary confinement. As crazy as it sounds, he doesn't have a comb so he can't comb his hair. Also, this was a no-contact visit. A glass barrier separated Leonard and Ms. Dugan. She had to talk to him via phone for the entire four hours.

The letter below to the Bureau of Prisons was written today by Michael Kuzma, Esq., attorney for Leonard Peltier. Please consider writing letters of concern to the BOP as well!

January 24, 2009

Mr. Harley G. Lappin, Director
Bureau of Prisons
320 First Street, N. W.
Washington, D. C. 20534

Re: Leonard Peltier, #89637-132

Dear Director Lappin:

I represent Mr. Leonard Peltier, #89637-132, who is currently incarcerated at USP Canaan.

Mr. Peltier was recently transferred to USP Canaan from USP Lewisburg. It is my understanding that Mr. Peltier was brutally attacked on or about January 13, 2009. Mr. Peltier suffered a possible concussion, the middle finger on his left hand may be broken or is badly injured, he has a large bump near his right wrist, the right side of his rib cage and chest are in a pain, the right side of his chest is bruised as is his left knee, and he is now having headaches, which Mr. Peltier believes are a direct result of the January 13, 2009 beating.

It is clear that Mr. Peltier is in grave danger at USP Canaan. By letters dated November 29, 2008 and December 15, 2008, I requested that Mr. Peltier be transferred to the Turtle Mountain reservation or, in the alternative, he be sent to Sandstone FCI or Oxford FCI. As I noted in my letter of December 15, 2008, on August 20, 2008 Mr. Peltier sought to be transferred to Sandstone FCI or Oxford FCI. A copy of the "Inmate Request to Staff" form dated August 20, 2008 that Mr. Peltier submitted to Case Manager Rothermel is once again enclosed for your information.

Please advise me of what steps, if any, you have taken to ensure Mr. Peltier's safety. More specifically, I would like to know what you have done to make sure that he is not attacked again in the future. Also, has Mr. Peltier received appropriate medical treatment for his injuries? If not, it is imperative that he sees health care professionals without any further delay so that his injuries may be properly treated.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Thank you.

Yours truly,

Michael Kuzma, Esq.

President Obama has stated in his Indian Policy Papers that he will respect and honor the sovereignty of the First Nations. Please contact the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians and encourage them to apply Nation-to-Nation pressure on the government of the United States to return their enrolled citizen Leonard Peltier to their Nation. Ask the Council at Turtle Mountain if there is anything that you can do to assist them in this effort.

Richard Marcellais, Tribal Chairman
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians
PO Box 900
Highway 5 West
Belcourt, ND 58316

Please send a copy of your letter to the Turtle Mountain Star, 11 1st Avenue, NE, Rolla, ND 58367.