23 January 2019 00:00
and a gifted computer programer whose case has attracted the attention of activists, civil libertarians and those concerned about the rights of whistleblowers. He is currently spending a decade in prison for allegedly disclosing information about the private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting, Inc. (Stratfor), revealing that they had been spying on human rights defenders at the behest of corporations and governments.
WikiLeaks published these files in partnership with 29 media organisations worldwide as the Global Intelligence Files.
After being threatened with 40 years to life in prison for his brave actions and suffering numerous injustices at the hands of the legal system, Jeremy accepted a non-cooperating plea deal to one count of violating the arcane and draconian Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Despite lodging nearly 265 letters of support calling for leniency, Jeremy was sentenced to the maximum allowed under his plea agreement and is currently serving his ten-year sentence at a medium-security federal prison.
Since his arrest in March of 2012, Jeremy has been frequently cut off from his friends and family, and punished with extensive stays in solitary confinement – treatment normally reserved for the most egregious offences. Jeremy did nothing for personal gain and everything in hope of making the world a better place. Scheduled for release 17 March 2021 Jeremy needs our support now more than ever.
While we are relieved that he has gotten to his final destination and that it happened quickly and that Jeremy arrived safely, this is not the outcome that either we or Jeremy wanted. We had hoped that FCI Milan would have allowed him to stay so that he could have completed his education, as he was only one semester away from graduation, and he was very much enjoying his studies. It is absolutely ludicrous that Jeremy was forced to suffer over one month in SHU, loss of privileges, and removal from an environment where he was not only learning and actively attempting to better himself, but where he had no other major disciplinary infractions, all over the ridiculous charge of accidentally bumping a guard with a door he could not see through as he was exiting his unit.
Prisons can, at even the best of times, seem Kafkaesque, but this situation went above and beyond the normal levels of absurdity and cruelty. According to the disciplinary hearing officer’s (DHO) report, it was the guard who made this situation something it didn’t need to be. When he was accidentally hit with the door, it was the guard who escalated the situation by confronting Jeremy, asking, “Do you really want to be pushing on me like that?” instead of just accepting that maybe it was an accident caused by the fact that a windowless door was opened and he was standing too close. No injuries were sustained, no harm was caused, but because there was was “unwanted touching”, Jeremy was charged with assault. All because of a door.
This situation is an example of something no bill, no law can ever reform. From the incident itself to the aftermath of being denied a chance to see the video that could have cleared his name and placed in SHU where his mail was delayed and books were denied on the whim of one man, the system worked as it has always worked, as it was designed to work. Prisoners are afforded no rights. In the DHO report, the reasoning the prison gave as to why they were upholding the finding of assault was,
“The DHO has no reason to believe that the reporting officer is not being truthful in their written report, as the staff member was merely acting in routine performance of their duties and has nothing to gain from fabrication of the charge. [Inmate Hammond], on the other hand [does], in order to avoid the consequences of your actions.”
In other words, prisons and their representatives never lie, but prisoners do. Prison guards are given the presumption of innocence, prisoners are given the presumption of guilt. We see this over and over not just within the prison system, but in the wider system of policing and law enforcement – the presumption of innocence is given to those in power. How many times have we heard that cops “feared for their lives”? And over and over, this presumption results in people suffering and dying and no one ever being held accountable.
Jeremy Hammond Jail Support - Donations to his commissary fund are also appreciated. This fund will help support whistleblower Jeremy Hammond while he serves his 10-year prison sentence. Campaign to support arrested Anons The Courage Foundation
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