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Steven Donziger

Imprisoned human rights lawyer Steven Donziger said he was transferred from a federal penitentiary in Connecticut back to house arrest on December 9, 2021. (Photo: Steven Donziger/Twitter)

'Huge Step Forward': Steven Donziger Transferred From Federal Prison to House Arrest

"But the battle for my freedom and to hold Chevron accountable continues," said the jailed human rights lawyer, who won a landmark multibillion-dollar judgment against the oil giant for Ecuadoran Indigenous people.

Brett Wilkins

Steven Donziger, the U.S. human rights attorney sentenced in October to six months' incarceration for refusing to hand over privileged client information to fossil fuel giant Chevron, said Thursday that he was released from a federal prison in Connecticut to complete his sentence under house arrest.

"Prison officials released me this morning to serve the rest of my sentence (136 days) at home," Donziger tweeted following his release from the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution. Prior to his incarceration, he had spent over 800 days under house arrest.

Donziger said he is "so grateful" for the development, but that "the battle for my freedom and to hold Chevron accountable continues."

Donziger represented a group of Ecuadorean farmers and Indigenous people in a 1990s lawsuit against Texaco, which was later acquired by Chevron, over the company's intentional dumping of billions of gallons of carcinogenic waste into the Amazon. The U.S. attorney won a multibillion-dollar judgment against Chevron in Ecuadorian courts.

However, Chevron went after Donziger in the American court system, and when the attorney refused to disclose privileged client information to the company, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan—who was invested in Chevron—held him in contempt of court. Kaplan's handpicked judge to preside over Donziger's contempt trial, Loretta Preska, is affiliated with the Chevron-funded Federalist Society.

Donziger's case drew worldwide attention and solidarity, with human rights experts and free speech groups joining progressive U.S. lawmakers in demanding his release.

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'Horrific': 50 Migrants Found Dead in Abandoned Trailer Truck in Texas

"We need to end Title 42 and fix our broken immigration system so these unimaginable tragedies stop happening," said Rep. Chuy García. "People fleeing violence and poverty deserve a chance at a better life."

Jake Johnson ·

Harris Says White House Not 'Discussing' Use of Federal Land for Abortion Care

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are among the Democratic lawmakers who have expressed support for the idea as GOP-controlled states move to outlaw abortion.

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Abortion Rights Defenders Applaud Judge's Block on Utah 'Trigger Ban'

"Today is a win, but it is only the first step in what will undoubtedly be a long and difficult fight," said one pro-choice advocate.

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Scores Feared Dead and Wounded as Russian Missiles Hit Ukraine Shopping Center

"People just burned alive," said Ukraine's interior minister, while the head of the Poltava region stated that "it is too early to talk about the final number of the killed."

Brett Wilkins ·

Biodiversity Risks Could Persist for Decades After Global Temperature Peak

One study co-author said the findings "should act as a wake-up call that delaying emissions cuts will mean a temperature overshoot that comes at an astronomical cost to nature and humans that unproven negative emission technologies cannot simply reverse."

Jessica Corbett ·

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