Home News Stories  

What's New

Graham Defense Update
- Latest Information
- Actions and Events

Position Statement

Who is John Graham?
blank space
- Personal Photo Album

blank space
- A History of Activism
blank space
- Freedom Returned

Statements of Support
- Officials and Chiefs
- Human Rights Groups
- Unions and Activists

Media Publications

How To Contribute

Letter Campaign

Media Files

Contact Us

Public statement on the arrest of John Graham

Amnesty International
December 12, 2003

Justice is long overdue in the December 1975 killing of Mi'qmak activist Anna Mae Pictou Aquash in South Dakota. Not only must those responsible be identified and brought to trial, there must also be scrupulous respect for due process and fair trial proceedings. This is essential to ensure full public accounting of what happened and to address ongoing concerns about possible political interference in the course of justice.

An Indigenous man from Canada, John Graham, was arrested in Vancouver on Monday December 1. The US is expected to seek his extradition to stand trial for the murder of Anna Mae Aquash.

Amnesty International has not been able to review the allegations against John Graham and takes no position on his guilt or innocence.

However if the US does seek his extradition, Amnesty is urging Canadian authorities to ensure that there is rigorous scrutiny of any evidence brought against him. If Graham should be brought to trial in the US, Amnesty International will seek assurances that his right to a fair trial is fully respected.

The killing of Anna Mae Aquash was one of a series of tragic incidents that took place in the mid-1970s in the context of a violent dispute at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and U.S. policing operations against the American Indian Movement (AIM). Amnesty International has a number of serious, still unresolved concerns about the role of U.S. law enforcement officials in these events, including:

  • the longstanding failure to identify and bring to justice whoever is responsible for the murder of Anna Mae Aquash; and
  • apparent efforts by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to prejudice the fair trial rights of AIM leaders charged with serious crimes during this period.

Amnesty International has also condemned the fact that the FBI knowingly used false evidence to obtain the extradition of AIM activist Leonard Peltier from Canada in December 1976. Peltier was subsequently convicted for the murder of two FBI agents killed at Pine Ridge in June 1975. Convinced that Peltier has repeatedly been denied a fair trial, Amnesty International has called for his immediate release on the grounds that he no longer has adequate recourse to justice.

Story found at: