SALT LAKE CITY — Environmental activist Tim DeChristopher has been placed in solitary confinement, his supporters claim.
In a posting on a website for the group DeChristopher founded, Peaceful Uprising said he was placed in isolation earlier this month because of a complaint by an “unidentified congressman” who ordered an investigation into an e-mail DeChristopher had reportedly sent.
“Tim was inquiring about the reported business practices of one of his contributors, threatening to return the money if their values no longer aligned with his own,” the group wrote on peacefuluprising.org. “According to Prison officials, Tim will continue to be held in isolated confinement pending an investigation. There is no definite timeline for inmates being held in the SHU — often times they await months for the conclusion of an investigation.”
Peaceful Uprising said DeChristopher’s communication and movement has been severely restricted. The group was launching a campaign to pressure the Bureau of Prisons to remove him from isolated confinement.
“Tim is being effectively thrown in the hole for no good reason we can see, other than to further restrict his communication. We are witnessing, once again, the hidden power of public and appointed officials in Washington DC to inflict cruel and unusual punishment on Tim because of his courageous stand in confronting injustice and speaking truth to power,” the group wrote.
DeChristopher’s attorneys planned a news conference Thursday to discuss his move to isolated confinement, Peaceful Uprising said.
DeChristopher was sentenced to two years in federal prison for sabotaging a BLM oil and gas auction of land near some of Utah’s most famous landmarks. He registered as “Bidder 70″ and drove up the prices of the parcels, prosecutors claimed.
DeChristopher’s defense team countered that he did it to call attention to the issue of climate change.