09:45 GMT18 June 2021
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    The brothers who lead an armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, announced their intention to sue over their pretrial jail conditions and filed a complaint on Tuesday.

    The brothers allege that the Multnomah County Jail officials have prevented them from meeting privately with their attorneys to prepare their defense. Ammon also alleges that the jail staff confiscated his notes regarding his legal strategy. While those may be reasonable gripes, a supporting statement from Ryan also complains about his lack of access to guns while imprisoned.

    “My rights are being violated. My right to life is being violated. All of my First Amendment rights are being violated. My right to freedom of religion is being violated,” Ryan Bundy declared. “My Second Amendment rights are being violated. I never waived that right. My Fourth Amendment rights are being violated."

    The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office says that there is a logistical problem in how the men review evidence against them, as the state has already handed over an estimated 45,000 pages of discovery. The imprisoned men are not allowed access to computers, and there are limits to how much paper can be kept in their cells. The jail recently increased the amount to three banker boxes of paperwork provided by their lawyers, they are also considering letting the men have iPads.

    “MCSO is willing to consider permitting inmates to have a solid-state device like an iPad, loaded with discovery including video, legal materials and a word-processing program to be made available to the person only in his cell,” jail officials wrote.

    Both brothers have been held in solitary confinement for 22 hours a day since their arrest.

    The armed takeover of the wildlife refuge lasted 41 days. One militant, LaVoy Finicum, was killed by police and 26 people were arrested and will face trial.

    The brothers, as well as Ryan Payne, Brian Cavalier and Blaine Cooper, who were arrested over the takeover in Oregon, are also concurrently preparing for a trial in Nevada for their role in the 2014 standoff with the Bureau of Land Management over their father’s cattle at his Bunkerville ranch.

    Both cases are complicated, and lawyers are fighting to block the government from dragging the defendants back and forth between the two states.

    Cliven Bundy, the men’s father, is also imprisoned in relation to the occupation, and was allowed to file a lawsuit against US President Barack Obama and other officials, asserting that the government is trying to sell his ranch to “the Chinese.”


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