December 18th marks Attorney Steven Donziger’s 500th day confined to his apartment while wearing a court-ordered ankle bracelet. I am hoping that you will join the letter writing campaign to help release Mr. Donziger from this unjust house arrest ordered by Judge Loretta Preska.
In 2011, Steven Donziger won a multi-billion dollar judgment in Ecuador against Chevron for polluting native Amazonian lands. Chevron responded by refusing to pay the judgment and launching a retaliatory federal complaint against Donziger in New York alleging that he obtained the judgment fraudulently. In 2014, based on subsequently discredited testimony, and without reviewing any evidence of contamination in Ecuador, Judge Lewis Kaplan held the Ecuador verdict unenforceable in the U.S. The judgment against Chevron, however, remains enforceable in other countries and Donziger has sought court orders to seize Chevron’s assets in Canada, as well as other nations, in order to satisfy the damages.
Judge Kaplan next referred a complaint alleging criminal contempt against Donziger to the US Attorney’s Office. When the Justice Department refused to prosecute, Kaplan took the extraordinary step of appointing a private law firm, with ties to Chevron, to charge Donziger and hand-picked Judge Preska to oversee the prosecution.
In July 2020, the European Parliament sent a letter to the members of the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties urging an inquiry into the legality of Donziger’s house arrest. In addition, over fifty Nobel prize winners are calling for an end to the judicial harassment of Steven Donziger.
It is clear that Steven Donziger is being persecuted because he stood up for victims of a $200-billion dollar corporation and won.
In September 2020, Steven Donziger, a constituent of Representative Jerrold Nadler, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, sent Mr. Nadler a letter asking him to investigate the misuse of the federal judiciary in the lawsuits against him and to take action. The letter was accompanied by signatures from over 24,000 supporters. There has been no response from Representative Nadler.
Chairman Nadler has the obligation and the authority to take action. Let’s stand up for Steven Donziger and ask Chairman Nadler to do just that!
Scientists for a People’s Party