Accused WikiLeaks Courier Tortured, Extradited

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Above: Matthew DeHart’s mother, Leann and father, Paul DeHart on the way to be heard in Toronto court with Matthew  (October 2014). Photo by Andrew Francis Wallace for the Toronto Star and Getty Images.

Note: The Courage Foundation, where I serve on the advisory board, defends truthtellers and the public’s right to know. It has aided the defense of Edward Snowden and Jeremy Hammond and has now taken on a third case, Matt DeHart.  DeHart was denied asylum in Canada and recently sent to the United States where he is likely to be facing espionage charges. We urge you to support the defense of DeHart, you can do so here.

More on DeHart:

– US dissident DeHart: From elite fighters enemy of the state, Spiegel
– Matt DeHart, the alleged Anonymous hacker, deported to U.S. after Canada refused to grant him asylum, National Post
– Alleged Anonymous hacker Matt DeHart deported to U.S. from Canada, CTV

Matt DeHart Named as Third Courage Beneficiary

Matthew Dehart by Peter J. Thompson for the National Post in April 2014

Matthew Dehart by Peter J. Thompson for the National Post in April 2014

• 30-year-old former US National Guard drone team member and alleged WikiLeaks courier recently  deported/extradited to US after asylum claim declined by Canada

• Joins Edward Snowden and Jeremy Hammond as Courage beneficiaries

• Matt’s parents Leann and Paul DeHart say: “We are comforted knowing we do not stand up against the tide alone.”

• Matt DeHart appeared before a judge in Buffalo and was ordered to be transferred to Tennessee for arraignment.

Courage, the international organisation dedicated to the protection of truth-tellers, has announced that its new beneficiary will be Matt DeHart.

Matt DeHart is a 30-year-old former US National Guard drone team member and alleged WikiLeaks courier who worked with the hactivist group Anonymous. He has been deported/extradited from Canada to the United States to face charges that judges in two countries (the US and Canada) have found to lack credibility. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said: “Canada’s actions are shameful. It may as well not have a border.” Matt DeHart recently appeared before a judge in Buffalo and was ordered to be transferred to Tennessee for arraignment.

For the past five years, Matt DeHart has been at the center of a US national security investigation and has experienced extraordinary hardship as a result. In 2010, Matt was detained at the US–Canadian border by FBI agents, who administered an IV (intravenous line) to Matt against his will. They questioned him over several days regarding his military unit, his involvement with Anonymous and WikiLeaks. They denied him access to his lawyer, deprived him of sleep, food and water, and tortured him during this time. Although an FBI report confirms Matt was detained for an “espionage matter” and agents asked him nothing about pornography, Matt was presented with a hastily drafted criminal complaint alleging he solicited nude photos from a teenager in 2008.

People rally outside the United States Consulate General in Toronto to support Matt DeHart, a former U.S. airman seeking asylum in Canada, Saturday, August 16, 2014.   DeHart argued for asylum at refugee hearing in Toronto, during which he claimed refugee protection as he was tortured by U.S. authorities probing his links to the shadowy Anonymous hacker collective. Photo by  Philip Cheung for National Post

People rally outside the United States Consulate General in Toronto to support Matt DeHart, a former U.S. airman seeking asylum in Canada, Saturday, August 16, 2014. DeHart argued for asylum at refugee hearing in Toronto, during which he claimed refugee protection as he was tortured by U.S. authorities probing his links to the shadowy Anonymous hacker collective. Photo by Philip Cheung for National Post

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stated: “The abuse of the law in DeHart’s case is obvious, shocking and wrong. Matt DeHart and his family have suffered enough.”

On 3 April 2013, Matt and his family crossed the US–Canadian border again, seeking political asylum and protection under the United Nations Convention on Torture. Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board turned down the family’s claim in February 2015, even though they found no “credible and trustworthy evidence” to support the charges Matt faces.

Courage has accepted Matt as its third beneficiary in order to raise awareness about his case, prevent him from experiencing further mistreatment in detention and to raise urgently needed funds for his legal defense. DeHart’s legal team have confirmed that they intend to launch legal action against the US government as well as defend Matt from the charges he currently faces.

Sarah Harrison, Courage’s Acting Director, said:

“The FBI has ruined Matt’s life to cover up what he knew and to punish his support of WikiLeaks and Anonymous. Objective judges have agreed that the child porn charges are a ruse to smear him in pursuit of national security information.”

Tor Ekeland, one of Matt’s lawyers, said:

Matt DeHart, center, with his parents Leann and Paul.  Photo from Courage Foundation.

Matt DeHart, center, with his parents Leann and Paul. Photo from Courage Foundation.

“Knowing the Courage Foundation has Matt’s back is a great relief to everyone fighting for his cause. It’s a privilege to work with such an esteemed organisation so committed to the freedom of information, and to know that there is light in the darkness.”

Matt’s parents, Paul and Leann DeHart, said:

“We are humbled and grateful for the support of the Courage Foundation. Facing a crisis of tsunami magnitude, we are comforted knowing we do not stand up against the tide alone.”

In addition to hosting the defense fund, Courage will publicly advocate for Matt DeHart and build his network of support. A re-launched support website at mattdehart.com will provide regular updates on Matt’s case and raise public awareness about the threats he faces.

Donations to the Matt DeHart defense fund can be made at: https://mattdehart.com/donate