Archive for the ‘Enemy Combatants’ Category

Gitmo Detainee Says He’ll Commit Suicide

22 May 2007

Juma Mohammed Al-Dossar, a detainee at Gitmo, says he’ll commit suicide if he gets the chance, according to USA Today. He’s been held since January of 2002 without charges there, and is 33 years old, meaning he’s spent around 15% of his life there. Assuming detainees are not tortured, apparently indefinite confinement for reasons you’re not told makes you feel suicidal. Who would have guessed.

Currently about 380 people are held at Guantanamo,80 of which have been cleared for release but are waiting for agreements to be made for countries to accept them.

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Hunger Strike at Gitmo

8 April 2007

13 people are on a hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay, according to the New York Times, partially as a result of the conditions at a new center there. They are all being force-fed.

“We don’t have any rights here, even after your Supreme Court said we had rights,” Majid al-Joudi, a hunger striker, told a military physician, “If the policy does not change, you will see a big increase in fasting.”

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Secret Prisons in Ethiopia

5 April 2007

An investigation by the Associated Press has found that the US interrogates suspects from 19 countries in Ethiopia, a country known for human rights abuses. Human rights groups, lawyers, and several Western diplomats say that hundreds of people, including children, have been transferred secretly and illegally from Kenya and Somalia to secret prisons in Ethiopia. The people include refugees, Canadians, an American, French, and Swedes.

John Sifton of Human Rights Watch describes it as a “decentralized, outsourced Guantanamo.”

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British Detainee Released from Gitmo

2 April 2007

A British resident who was released from Guantanamo Bay this weekend made his first statement since then, according to the State. Bisher al-Rawi, 37, said within his statement that “The hopelessness you feel in Guantanamo can hardly be described. You are asked the same questions hundreds of times… Allegations are made against you that are laughably untrue, but you have no chance to prove them wrong. There is no trial, no fair legal process.”

Al-Rawi, who had been held for five years, was never given a trial. He and his friend, Jamil el-Banna, were arrested in Gambia when trying to return to Britain with what officials said was suspicious electronic equipment. According to his lawyer, it was a battery charger. El-Banna is still in Guantanamo.

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Court Says Yeah You Were Tortured…

27 March 2007

But you’re not Americans, and he’s Donald Rumsfeld.

A court has acknowledged the abuse of nine detainees filing suit against Donald Rumsfeld, but threw out the case anyway, according to BBC News. None of the five Iraqis and four Afghans was ever charged with a crime, but they were hung upside-down and slapped until they lost consciousness, stabbed with knives, subjected to electric shocks, deprived of sleep by loud noises and bright lights, grabbed by aggressive dogs, and subjected to sexual humiliation.

The court says that the abuse was “horrifying,” but that they did not have US constitutional rights and that Donald Rumsfeld is immune to such suits.

This is outrageous.

The court detailed the torture in its 60-page ruling, but since they’re not Americans and Rumsfeld used to be Secretary of Defense, the nine can’t do anything about it.

No worries though, officials say we’re a “leader” in human rights, and WhiteHouse.gov says “Our policy is based on core values that uphold human rights through democracy and the rule of law.”

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They Want to Close Gitmo, Really They Do

24 March 2007

The White House says that, although “everyone” wants to close Gitmo, they can’t, according to Reuters. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that “The problem is that you have a number of dangerous people who, in some cases, cannot be held, cannot be tried in other places and they are too dangerous to release. So you need to be able to deal with it in some way.”

The civilian justice system is much too good for these un-charged-un-convicted-but-yet-no-doubt-terribly-evil-people, so obviously we can’t move them to the US.

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Now He’s Sorry

20 March 2007

Canadian Defense Minister Gordon O’Connor apologized yesterday for lying to Parliament about the situation with detainee abuse in Afghanistan, according to Yahoo. He had told them that the Red Cross would report to them any abuse, when in fact that Red Cross is only required to report to Afghan authorities. Canada’s military police is investigating 18 possible instances in which Canadian authorities handed prisoners to Afghanistan knowing that they might be abused. There are also four investigations into the possible abuse of three men taken in in April 2006.

Several opposition leaders have demanded O’Connor’s resignation, as, Reuter’s words, “misleading Parliament is taken seriously in Canada.”

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Three Get Hearings at Gitmo

14 March 2007

Three Gitmo detainees had hearings to determine if they were enemy combatants, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.  If they are, they can be tried before a military commission.

Detainees are not allowed a lawyer for the review tribunals, but instead get assigned a military personal representative who is supposed to help them prepare.  Each detainee can have only one Combatant Status Review Tribunal, and once a year they can appear before an Administrative Review Panel, which decides whether they are still an enemy combatant.

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Padilla Tape Missing

10 March 2007

The government has apparently lost the videotape of Jose Padilla’s last interrogation in a navy brig, according to Yahoo. 88 recordings of interrogations were made, but the defense team says that they only got 87 of them, and authorities cannot find the last one. Pentagon attorney James Schmidli said at a recent court hearing that “[he doesn’t] know what happened to it.” US District Judge Marcia Cooke asked if they “understand how it might be difficult for [her] to understand that a tape related to this particular individual just got mislaid?”

Brig logs show that there are 72 hours of interviews without tapes, and since Padilla was taped showering, the defense says it is unlikely that some of his interviews were not.

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Stare Kiejkuty Confirmed as CIA Site

8 March 2007

A former Polish intelligence training school outside Stare Kiejkuty was used as a site for short-term interrogations by the CIA, according to the Raw story. It is possible that these interrogations were in violation of the United Nations Convention against Torture, which both Poland and the US are signatories to.

Apparently most of the sites in the rendition program are only temporary ones, making them difficult to identify.

US intelligence officials confirmed that the site at Stare Kiejkuty had been used in the past, though one former CIA official says that : “We never tortured anyone, we sent them to countries that did torture, but not on this scale.”

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