11/30/2016 04:00 EST | Updated 11/30/2016 04:01 EST

Edmonton Inmate Shawn Keepness Says He Was Shot In The Testicles As Payback For Lawsuit

An Edmonton inmate claims he was intentionally shot in the testicles with a rubber bullet over the weekend as payback for a multi-million dollar lawsuit he filed against the Attorney General of Canada.

Shawn Keepness, 31, is one of three inmates who claim to have been kept in segregation for more than six weeks over the summer. The inmates filed a $5.6-million lawsuit; each seeking $1.873 million, plus damages.

Keepness's lawyer, Avnish Nanda, told Postmedia that when a fight broke out Sunday, forcing the prison into lockdown, a guard told Keepness to get on the ground and then shot him in the testicles from close range.

Nanda said his client's hands were in the air and the guard was standing about five feet away when the rubber bullet was fired.

An emergency surgery to save his testicles was successful, said Nanda, but he told Global News he's concerned about "significant intimidation" Keepness and the other inmates have experienced since filing the lawsuit.

According to the Globe and Mail, Keepness, Matthew Hamm and Taylor Tobin were placed in solitary confinement on June 28, after prison officials were told by a confidential informant that the three men were planning to attack a group of guards.

After a review, an Alberta judge freed them, concluding the prison ignored issues around aboriginal identity, procedural fairness and mental-health history.

The trio claim they were kept segregated for a total of 43 days. According to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the longest an inmate can be in involuntary administrative segregation is 30 days.

Keepness is currently serving a lengthy sentence at the Edmonton Institution for manslaugher and other crimes.

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