Oregon militia leader complains about no Internet in jail cell

The leader of the armed group that took over a federal wildlife reserve in Oregon last January is complaining about what he says is a big injustice: the lack of Internet access inside his jail cell. 

Ammon Bundy and his brother Ryan Bundy have requested Internet access in jail to help them prepare for a Sept. 7 federal trial, the Oregonian reported.

The two brothers are among 26 defendants indicted on federal conspiracy and weapons charges related to the 41-day armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon. The occupation began Jan. 2, with Bundy and others demanding the federal government turn public lands over to local control.

The Bundy brothers are arguing that they cannot sufficiently prepare for their Sept. 7 trial, alleging a violation of their civil rights, according to the newspaper. 

In response, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said the brothers and their co-defendants could have iPads in their jail cells, as long as their lawyers preload the devices with the discovery documents and videos needed to prepare for trial, the newspaper reported.

But Ammon Bundy’s lawyer wrote in a court document last week that such an arrangement wouldn’t work because the case discovery program is web-based.

“They attempted to work through these issues with jail staff, but now are forced to evaluate other viable options to protect their rights as citizens who stand accused with the weight of the government against them,” Ammon Bundy’s lawyer, Mike Arnold, wrote in a report on jail conditions filed in court Tuesday, according to the paper.

Bundy and his co-defendants also have complained about not having the opportunity to see one another to discuss trial strategies and pray together.

“My right to live is being violated,” defendant Ryan Bundy wrote. “All of my First Amendment rights are being violated…I am not allowed to see my brother and move about….This violates my freedom of assembly…My Second Amendment rights are being violated. I never waived that right.”

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