Environmental human rights lawyer Steven Donziger has been under attack for over two years by oil giant Chevron and its legal firm. Amy Goodman at Democracy Now interviewed him and a rush transcript is published on Alternet.
The case stems from Steve's role in suing Chevron on behalf of 30,000 Amazonian Indigenous people for dumping 16 billion gallons of oil into their ancestral land in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Ten years ago, Ecuador's Supreme Court ordered Chevron to pay $18 billion. The landmark ruling was seen as a major victory for the environment and corporate accountability. But Chevron refused to pay or clean up the land. Instead, it launched a legal attack targeting Donziger.
In July, a federal judge found him guilty of six counts of criminal contempt of court, after he refused to turn over his computer and cellphone. In an unusual legal twist, the judge appointed a private law firm with ties to Chevron to prosecute Donziger after federal prosecutors declined to bring charges.
Amnesty International recently called for his immediate release, saying he was being arbitrarily detained. The U.N.'s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has also called for his release.
This story needs much more attention than I can provide at this time.