Steven Donziger was convicted of contempt of courtroom in October after years battling Chevron over air pollution in Ecuador.
Nine United States legislators have referred to as on the Justice Department to launch environmental lawyer Steven Donziger, who spent a long time battling Chevron Corp over air pollution within the Ecuadorian rainforest and was sentenced to 6 months in jail in October on a felony contempt conviction.
In a letter on Monday, the 9 Democratic members of the US House of Representatives, which included Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, referred to as on Attorney General Merrick Garland to take “immediate action”.
They famous that Donziger was jailed on “petty contempt of court” fees stemming from his non-compliance in a lawsuit filed by Chevron, suggesting the DOJ is partially complicit in his concentrating on by the oil large.
“This case has shocked the worldwide community of environmental justice and human rights advocates and creates a distinct chilling effect on this type of advocacy going forward,” the letter stated.
I’m proud to guide my colleagues on this letter demanding @TheJusticeDept take quick motion to launch local weather and Indigenous rights activist Steven Donziger. #FreeDonziger https://t.co/ZxmpFPxU3m
— Congressman Chuy García (@RepChuyGarcia) November 30, 2021
“As the United States is a party to the District Court case against Mr Donziger, we request that you act immediately to reclaim control of this case, dismiss the charges, and free Mr Donziger from his imprisonment,” the letter stated.
US District Judge Loretta Preska sentenced Donziger after discovering him responsible in May of “willfully” defying courtroom orders, together with by failing to show over his pc and different gadgets.
Donziger had represented villagers in Ecuador’s Lago Agrio area who sought to carry Chevron responsible for water and soil contamination by Texaco – which was acquired by the corporate in 2000 – between 1964 and 1992. Donziger gained a $9.5bn judgement towards Chevron in an Ecuadorian courtroom in 2011.
In 2014, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan dominated in favour of Chevron, rejecting the Ecuadorian judgement and saying it had been secured by means of fraudulent means. Donziger was subsequently debarred from practising regulation in New York.
He had been put below home arrest in 2019 whereas awaiting trial on contempt of courtroom fees.
A panel of human rights consultants commissioned by the United Nations stated on September 30 that Donziger’s home detention violated worldwide civil rights regulation and advisable that he be launched.
In their letter, the legislators stated the Biden administration “must send a clear signal that it stands with communities harmed by pollution and environmental destruction and the lawyers courageous enough to represent them and not the corporations that benefit from polluting the water, air, and land of local people”.