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30 Mar, 2017 11:03

‘Miscarriage of justice’: Jailed hacktivist & his wife share their plight (EXCLUSIVE)

Hacktivist Martin Gottesfeld is facing 25 years in a US prison, accused of illegally accessing a Boston hospital’s network. But he says he was protecting children from torture. Martin and his wife Dana shared their plight with RT.

Their story centers on Justina Pelletier, who has a rare blood disease. Back in 2013 the hospital diagnosed her symptoms as psychological, and blamed her parents. She was taken into custody and reportedly didn’t receive essential medical aid. This, according to her parents, amounted to torture.

“She went from a healthy-as-could-be young lady to a person in a wheelchair, pretty much paralyzed below the hips. Now they [the hospital] are basically admitting after 13 months they were wrong. She’s been in severe pain, non-stop, for 13 months,” Justina’s father said during a TV interview back in 2014.

Through hacking the hospital’s network, Martin says he planned to reveal the details of Justina’s story.

He and Dana told RT that anyone attempting to expose events like this should be hailed as a hero – but it’s quite the opposite, with the innocent being punished, they say.

Dana was speaking to RT live, holding a phone with Martin on the line, who was speaking directly from prison.

“I don’t think that I should be charged in the first place. Misleading statements have been used to strip a family of custody of their child. The family was subjected to an unconstitutional gag order, they were prohibited from speaking to the press, contrary to the beloved [US] First Amendment here. That was blatantly unconstitutional,” said Martin.

His time in prison “violates just about every international human rights accord,” Martin added, speaking via the phone held in his wife’s hands.

“I think that the charges I’m facing are 100 percent political and an attempt to indemnify torture,” the activist said.

Dana said she agrees with her husband, “in the way that this is such a miscarriage of justice. There is no prosecution, there is no investigation into the hospital and what they did to Justina. And instead, they punish people that are trying to expose it and protect children.”

The conditions that Martin are kept in are tough. “I’ve been to six prisons in the past year: four federal facilities, one private, and am currently in a county jail.”

The activist noted that he had observed human rights violations at all the facilities.

Martin has filed several complaints to the Department of Mental Health, “but they are abdicating any responsibility [for human rights violations],” he said.

“A lot of the people here are mentally ill, but they don’t possess the mens rea, the mental ability to knowingly commit a crime. So these people can’t knowingly commit a crime, but yet, they are being tortured in the same building,” the activist added.

Martin himself was denied bail to attend his father’s funeral, which was “really hard to see,” Dana said.

“I took an emergency trip down to Florida from Massachusetts. Marty is only allowed on the phone at certain times, and I got there just a few minutes before the phone shut off. And Marty was able to talk to his dad for the last time, for just a couple of minutes. It was really close, and I’m happy that I was able to do that,” Dana added, with tears in her eyes.

“Missing my dad’s death, missing my dad’s funeral, facing 25 years in jail… Wow! These people continue to torture and kill children with impunity… A heavier price than I was prepared to pay,” Martin added.

“It’s so upsetting for all of the people who don’t have a voice there, and my husband isn’t recognized for the good work, but instead is punished for it,” Dana concluded.