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Amazon Watch Takes On “Judicial Corruption in the U.S.” with Webinar in Support of Human Rights Lawyer Steven Donziger

August 6 event supporting features Roger Waters, Civil Liberties Defense Center’s Lauren Regan & Global Witness’s Simon Taylor

NEW YORK, NY, USA, August 5, 2020 / -- Amazon Watch announced today a special webinar, “Judicial Corruption in the U.S,” to support wrongfully detained American human rights lawyer Steven Donziger. The online event, which takes a searing look at judicial abuse and malfeasance in the interest of Big Oil, takes place August 6, at 12:00pm EDT on Zoom. Registration is available via the Amazon Watch website.

“Judicial Corruption in the U.S.” brings together human rights luminaries and champions for in-depth discussion about how corporate special interests have successfully corrupted elements of the U.S. justice system. Event speakers include Roger Waters, Civil Liberties Defense Center Executive Director Lauren Regan & Global Witness Director and Co-Founder Simon Taylor, as well as leading international human rights lawyer Steven Donziger who has been held in unprecedented home confinement for a year.

“Steven Donziger has been turned into a corporate political prisoner by one of the most powerful companies on the planet,” said Paul Paz y Miño, Associate Director, Amazon Watch. “While Steven’s case alone should provoke outrage, the fact that Chevron has gotten away with it for this long bodes ill for the rule of law and the protection of civil liberties in America.”

“The case of Steven Donziger is an example of a creeping trend of corporate interests not just influencing but corrupting judicial processes in the U.S,” said Lauren Regan, Executive Director, Civil Liberties Defense Center. "We have to take immediate and forceful action to correct this injustice and prevent a toxic legal phenomenon from spilling into our justice system. We must act now.”

Donziger is credited with winning one of the largest financial judgments against an oil company. In 2013, Ecuadoran courts ruled in favor of 30,000 indigenous inhabitants of the Amazon who had accused Chevron of dumping toxic waste and billions of gallons of oil across an area of almost 2,000 square miles. The ruling was confirmed by international courts, including Canada’s Supreme Court.

Events took a bizarre twist when Chevron sued Donziger in the U.S, leading U.S. federal court judge Lewis Kaplan to order Donziger to turn over all his case files to Chevron—including those protected by attorney-client privilege. When Donziger refused to violate his and his clients’ rights, Kaplan drafted criminal contempt charges and—in a move likely without legal precedent—appointed a private law firm to prosecute Donziger. News reports have asserted that the prosecuting law firm has possible ties to Chevron.

The event is part of a larger campaign to free Donziger from house arrest and have him exonerated of trumped-up charges designed to delay enforcement of the $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron.

Donziger’s case has prompted an outpouring of support from the international legal and human rights communities. Twenty-nine Nobel Laureates—including nine Nobel Peace Prize Laureates—have signed a letter of support of Donziger, calling “everyone fighting to save our planet to join with us in raising awareness about and support for the Ecuadorian plaintiffs and their attorney, Steven Donziger.”

The International Observatory of Endangered Lawyers (OIAD) recently nominated Donziger for the Human Rights Award of the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI).

More than 475 lawyers and 75 legal organizations, including bar associations, expressed their support for Steven Donziger in an open letter on National Lawyers Guild and International Association of Democratic Lawyers letterhead. “We are outraged by the attack on the rule of law evidenced in the arbitrary detention of human rights attorney, Steven Donziger,” the letter stated.

For more information on how to help Steven Donziger, please visit


Martin Garbus
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