On July 8th, The Epoch Times posted an update on the political prisoners that have been held in Washington, D.C., jails since the January 6th protest. The article details the individual stories of some of the prisoners. I will highlight some of the stories, but please follow the link to read all of the accounts. The civil rights of these prisoners have been violated, and they have been forgotten by their government, our politicians, and the American people.
The article reports:
Sharon Caldwell of Berry Hill, Virginia, said she is grateful for Cynthia Hughes and the Patriot Freedom Project for the opportunity to have a press conference where she and the wives, mothers, and family members of Jan. 6 prisoners could speak about what they are going through.
…Sharon’s husband, Thomas Caldwell, has been charged with “Seditious Conspiracy Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding Obstruction of an Official Proceeding and Aiding and Abetting Conspiracy to Prevent an Officer From Discharging Any Duties Tampering with Documents or Proceedings and Aiding and Abetting” (pdf).
According to the Save Our Farm website, “the DOJ has falsely claimed that [Thomas] commanded a group called the ‘Oath Keepers’ to overthrow the U.S. government. The allegations are ridiculous and outrageous.”
According to Save Our Farm, the government has already been forced to admit several mistakes in its investigation:
- Tom was NEVER “Commander” of a group called the “Oath Keepers”, nor was he ever a “Leader” or a “member” of this group.
- Tom did NOT enter the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
- Tom did NOT commit any acts of violence, damage any property, or threaten anyone, including law enforcement.
- Tom did NOT participate in a plan to enter the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
But since his incarceration, he has been “subjected to solitary confinement, physical and mental abuse, and denial of medical care, including life-sustaining prescription medications.”
Bonnie Nichols said her husband Ryan has been “incarcerated in the D.C. gulag” for 514 days, “in prolonged solitary confinement under torturous conditions.” From his four years as a Marine, Bonnie said Ryan suffers from PTSD and the prolonged solitary confinement only exacerbates his condition. Ryan faces 11 charges, including multiple infractions with the words “Deadly or Dangerous Weapon,” attached. Lesser charges include “Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building.”
“He has been denied access to due process rights, access to his discovery to defend his case, and he has been denied access to nutritional food and sunlight for months,” she asserted. “The narrative they are painting of my husband isn’t accurate. He’s not an insurrectionist.”
According to Bonnie, Ryan owns a nonprofit called Rescue The Universe. He goes around the country rescuing people and animals during natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and tornados. In 2018, Ryan was seen on multiple news outlets rescuing six dogs abandoned by their owner in a locked chain-link cage in Leland, North Carolina.
“He’s a hero in his community,” Bonnie said. “He just went to the Capitol to peacefully protest. I never thought in a million years this would be happening to our family.”
Geri Perna of Port Charlotte, Florida, is the aunt of Matthew Perna.
“My nephew walked through the Capitol on January 6 and he went through an open door, ushered in by Capitol Police, took pictures with his cell phone, and chanted, ‘USA, USA,”‘ Geri told The Epoch Times. “He later found out that his picture was on the FBI’s website and he turned himself in immediately. He was never jailed. He was released and he obtained a lawyer.”
According to the Criminal Complaint (pdf), Matthew was charged with “Obstruction of an Official Proceeding, Aiding and Abetting, Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds, Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds and Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building.”
Initially, Geri said Matthew was charged with misdemeanors. But later they added the felony charges of obstruction of Congress.
“It became a nightmare for Matt,” Geri recalled. “It was a year of constant delays and postponements for his hearings and he got to the point where it was mentally exhausting.”
In order for the ordeal to end sooner, Geri said Matthew’s attorney advised him to plead guilty. So he plead guilty. About a week before his sentencing Matthew found out the government was planning to add a terrorist enhancement, which would have increased his sentence drastically from six to 12 months to five to six years.
“That Friday night [on Feb. 25] at 5:30, he went into his garage and he hung himself,” Geri said tearfully. “He could not handle this anymore. He was a wonderful man, 37 years old. He had a great living. He traveled world wide. He didn’t have a hateful bone in his body.”
Until the Justice Department becomes apolitical, none of the people who have denied these prisoners their civil rights and subjected them to the inhumane conditions they have endured will be held accountable. There is no way this should be happening in America. Unless Americans begin to speak out, it will continue. If this can happen to these men, it can happen to anyone.