The federal government has jailed Earth Liberation Front activist Daniel McGowan in response to an article he wrote for The Huffington Post, his wife Jenny Synan said. The HuffPost story, published April 1, charged the Federal Bureau of Prisons with transferring him to a high security prison unit in order to restrict his political speech during his incarceration. McGowan had been in a halfway house after pleaded guilty to federal charges of arson and conspiracy to commit arson.
McGowan’s attorney, Rachel Meeropol of the Center for Constitutional Rights, said McGowan was taken from a Brooklyn halfway house Thursday morning and brought to the Metropolitan Detention Center. The Center for Constitutional Rights is challenging the Bureau of Prisons’ use of “communications management units” as part of a federal lawsuit. “In short, based on its disagreement with my political views, the government sent me to a prison unit from which it would be harder for me to be heard, serving as a punishment for my beliefs,” McGowan wrote in his blog post. Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said that, “inmates cannot do interviews without permission. So if there’s some sort of a phone interview or a sit-in interview, those have to be pre-approved.”