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Matt DeHart sentenced to 7.5 years in jail

Matt DeHart, former US Air National Guard intelligence analyst and alleged Anonymous server host and WikiLeaks courier, was sentenced to seven and a half years in jail today in Nashville, TN, in accordance with the plea deal he was coerced into last year. Matt has already served three and a half years in prison.

Late last year, Matt was forced into a plea agreement after being threatened with up to 50 years in jail. He plead guilty to receiving teen ‘pornography,’ consisting of messages dated from 2008 that the US government decided to charge years later. The charging decision only came after the government became aware that Matt was a WikiLeaks and Anonymous supporter, and that Matt had discovered sensitive military files, allegedly destined for WikiLeaks, had been uploaded to a server he ran.

In addition to prison time, Matt will be subject to thirteen years of post-release supervision, with likely restrictions on his computer access. We will publish the details of these conditions as soon as we have them. Matt was not fined.

Courage’s acting director Sarah Harrison condemns the sentence:

The sentencing of Matt DeHart is another shameful milestone in the US government’s war on digital activists. Just look at the timeline of events – Matt was only prosecuted when the government learned that he was affiliated with Anonymous and was a supporter of WikiLeaks. Having already endured torture at the Canadian border during an espionage interrogation, Matt has suffered more than enough. Courage will ensure Matt DeHart is not forgotten, support him in prison, monitor his conditions and continue to fight for his release.

This morning, before the sentencing hearing, Matt’s parents Paul and Leann said,

We are hopeful that the hearing will go as Matt’s legal team expects with no surprises. Our hearts are with Matt as he endures another governmental confrontation. His path ahead will be difficult. He remains strong in spirit. We are all thankful for the support of so very many who have followed his case and genuinely care for Matt and our family. This is not the end.

The Courage Foundation runs Matt’s official support website and hosts his defense fund.