(LifeSiteNews) — Alleged photos of a man reportedly subjected to brutal solitary confinement after being arrested for his involvement in the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, have triggered outrage and skepticism on social media. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has denied the accuracy of images.
On August 17, The Gateway Pundit published several “exclusive” photos reportedly showing a cell in Philadelphia’s Federal Detention Center (FDC) where January 6 prisoner Ryan Samsel had been held.
Samsel, who has been in custody since he was arrested after the riot in January 2021, told The Gateway Pundit he was kept in the “hard booking cell” for “about five, six months” and wasn’t let out even to attend medical appointments. He said the cell was cold, the light was kept on, and there were no windows.
Photos published on the site appear to show Samsel sitting in a closet-sized cell with no shirt or shoes and only a thin blue mat, water bottle, and mop bucket on the floor.
The photos have triggered both outrage and skepticism online.
While some social media users and conservative personalities shared the story and argued that the federal government is engaging in torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners, others have pointed out that the photos appear to be staged, noting that there is an electrical outlet in the wall and that Samsel appears to be clean, uninjured, well-fed, and is wearing civilian-style shorts.
A public affairs official for the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) told LifeSiteNews the photos don’t “depict a cell at FDC Philadelphia.”
Samsel was arrested in 2021 and charged with forcibly assaulting, resisting, opposing, impeding, intimidating or interfering with a federal agent; committing or attempting to commit an act to obstruct law enforcement and obstruction of official proceedings for allegedly pushing over a barricade during the January 6 disturbance at the Capitol and causing a female officer to fall down and suffer a concussion, Penn Live reported.
He was reportedly on parole in Pennsylvania at the time of his 2021 arrest and had an outstanding arrest warrant for assault in New Jersey.
Last year, he was accused of writing a letter suggesting that politicians should be done away with, recommending a “woodchipper” to do the job.
But while the photos of Samsel’s alleged confinement have been treated with skepticism, he isn’t alone in claiming to have been subjected to inhumane treatment.
Edward Jacob Lang, who has been charged with assault and other crimes for allegedly striking police officers’ riot shields with a baseball bat, maintains he has been held in “deplorable and subhuman conditions” for pretrial detention, including solitary confinement and being restricted from speaking to the press, LifeSiteNews previously reported.
Richard Barnett, the man infamously photographed sitting at Pelosi’s desk, alleges along with other defendants that they were held in a facility of abominable sanitary conditions described as “full of black mold.” Barnett has said he both witnessed and experienced severe physical abuse at the hands of prison guards.
After the January 6 riot, many conservatives have expressed concerns about the treatment and disproportionate, politically motivated punishment of the individuals arrested in connection with the disturbance.