The American Civil Liberties Union has stepped in to fight for the release of jailed reality TV star Richard Hatch - insisting he was imprisoned last month (Aug09) for criticising the government.
Hatch, the winner of Survivor: Borneo in 2000, was indicted and sentenced to four years behind bars in 2005 for failing to pay tax on the $1 million (£666,600) prize he'd earned from the show and subsequent TV appearances.
He was allowed to live in his Rhode Island home under supervision following his release from a federal facility in Morgantown, West Virginia in May (09).
Just three months later, Hatch was hauled off to a Massachusetts county jail used to temporarily hold federal prisoners after prosecutors claimed he had given TV interviews that had not been approved by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
In an interview broadcast hours before his arrest, Hatch told America's Today show, "I know without question that there are personal issues involved for the prosecutor. I don't know why. The prosecutorial misconduct has been egregious."
Union leaders are now offering their support to Hatch, filing a request for his release with a federal judge on Monday (14Sep09).
Hatch's home confinement was due to end on 7 October (09) - but a release date has yet to be disclosed.