UPDATE: Environmental Activist Daniel McGowan Released from MDC Prison, Returned to Halfway House

press@ccrjustice.org

April 5, 2013, New York – This afternoon, activist Daniel McGowan was released from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where he was taken into custody yesterday from the halfway house where he has been residing. His attorneys at the Center for Constitutional Rights released the following statement: 

Daniel McGowan has been released from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where he was taken into custody yesterday and is back at the halfway house where he has been residing since his release from prison in December. Yesterday, Daniel was given an "incident report" indicating that his Huffington Post blog post, “Court Documents Prove I Was Sent to Communication Management Units (CMU) for My Political Speech," violated a BOP regulation prohibiting inmates from "publishing under a byline."  The BOP regulation in question was declared unconstitutional by a federal court in 2007, and eliminated by the BOP in 2010. After we brought this to the BOP's attention, the incident report was expunged. 
 
McGowan, who was released from prison in December and is serving out the last six months of his sentence at a halfway house, is a plaintiff in a Center for Constitutional Rights lawsuit, Aref v. Holder, challenging the constitutionality of the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) experimental Communications Management Units (CMUs) where he was kept for four years. New documents uncovered in the case indicate he was placed in these highly restrictive experimental units as retaliation for his political writings on the environment while he was in prison.
 
Aref v. Holder challenges the violation of prisoners’ fundamental constitutional rights, including the right to due process. Attorneys say that because transfer to CMUs are not based on facts or discipline for infractions, a pattern of religious and political discrimination and retaliation for prisoners’ lawful advocacy has emerged. Daniel McGowan recently amended the complaint to include claims of retaliation for First Amendment protected speech.
 
For information about CCR’s federal lawsuit challenging CMUs, visit the Aref, et al. v. Holder, et al  case page orwww.ccrjustice.org/cmu.

The law firm Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP and attorney Kenneth A. Kreuscher are co-counsel in the case.

The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, The Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.

 

Last modified 

April 5, 2013