For Immediate Release
June 2, 2010
Contact: Chad Kister (740) 753-3888 or (740) 707-4110 firstname.lastname@example.org
Geography Professor Ted Bernard (740) 590-6018 (cell) or (740) 593-1153
Author Locked Up for 23 days for Writing Press Release
Ten Athens County, Ohio Sheriff Deputies kicked in Author Chad Kister's door, pointed guns at him, and took him to O'Bleness Memorial Hospital, where doctors took blood and urine against his will, but found no recreational drugs.
Kister was locked in the Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare (which Kister describes as a torture chamber) for 23 days for retaliation because he won three lawsuits against police agencies, and exercised his First Amendments rights to publish a press release on his website, www.chadkister.com. Kister also called the Athens County Probate Court a "Kangaroo Court" on WAIS' viewpoint radio program.
On Friday, May 7, Kister filed a federal lawsuit against the probate court, and psychiatrist Anthony Derrico, demanding that his trial be moved to federal court, because so many federal laws had been violated.
Kister has already won three federal lawsuits, out of three filed against police agencies, two of them in the 6th district court, where his May 3 lawsuit was filed. He has won $90,000 for being beaten nearly to death by DC police, retaliatory prosecution by Athens City Police, and for being assaulted by an Athens County Sheriff Deputy.
At his court hearing on May 6, Magistrate Jonathan Perrin refused to allow Kister to call three PhD character witnesses. Perrin also refused to allow Athens Messenger reporter Joe Higgins, as well as other reporters, from covering the hearing. Perrin also refused to allow Kister to exercise his Fifth Amendment Rights. The court used Kister's April 7, 2010 press release (see www.chadkister.com) as the primary reason for committing Kister to 90 days of incarceration.
"The media needs access to the secret, lawless probate court system where justice and Constitutional Rights are a joke," Kister said.
Waiting to testify in Kister's trial were Dr. Ralph Izard, the former Director of the Ohio University Scripps School of Journalism, Dr. Dru Evarts, OU Journalism Professor and Dr. Ted Bernard, Author and OU Geography Professor.
"Chad Kister is a person who loves the sunshine and outdoors," Bernard said. "It is unthinkable he would be locked indoors for 90 days. Chad being locked indoors for 90 days would not lead in any healthy direction."
Kister had just started southeast Ohio's first eco-hostel to bring jobs and prosperity to the impoverished Nelsonville Community. Kister had planned to apply for millions of dollars in stimulus funds, for a Do-It-Yourself Energy Efficiency Shop, but the deadline was April 30. Kister has been denied internet access, or the ability to even check email.
Kister planned to run for county commissioner, but the deadline was May 3, and Kister was locked up. Kister had secured funding and gear for a 1,500 mile journey by kayak this summer down the Athabasca River, to the Mackenzie River, and the Arctic Ocean to Barter Island, and the Inupiat Village of Kaktovik, to document the Tar Sands destruction in Canada and proposed offshore oil development along the north coast of Alaska.
Greenpeace called the Tar Sands oil development in Northern Alberta the most environmentally destructive project on the planet. Canada is strip mining an area the size of Florida, using enormous amounts of energy to process it and causing massive pollution in the Athabasca River that is poisoning Native Americans with skyrocketing cancer.
Kister is the author of Arctic Quest: Odyssey Through a Threatened Wilderness; and Arctic Melting: How Climate Change is Destroying One of the World's Largest Wilderness Areas, published by Common Courage Press; and Against All Odds: The Struggle to Save The Ridges, published by the Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism. He has completed his fourth book, Arctic Screaming, about his third and fourth Arctic expeditions and the horrific impacts of climate change in the far north.
Kister is working on his fifth book about his journeys by Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise boat, Greenpeace helicopter, foot and ferry through the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska: America's largest old-growth forest that is being destroyed by clear-cutting.
"I just need to be free, in the prime of my life, to pursue the American Dream," Kister said. "This is one of the greatest violations of civil liberties our planet has ever seen.
– 30 –