CMUs/Prison Conditions

  • Case in focus: challenging the immigration detention quota

    CMUs/Prison Conditions November 6, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Center for Constitutional Rights. Since 2009, appropriations bills passed by the U.S. Congress have required the funding of 34,000 immigration detention beds per day. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have interpreted this funding provision as a requirement that those beds be filled at all times. Some of the people detained based on this detention bed quota are in local jails and correctional facilities, but many are in private, for-profit correctional facilities run by corporations with enormous lobbying power. The increasing rates of detention and deportation in the Obama years have coincided with the growth of private prison contractors, who now control 62% of immigration detention beds.

  • Solitary in California jails still hellish despite state reforms

    CMUs/Prison Conditions October 29, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. In September, California agreed to drastically reduce the use of solitary confinement in its prisons, the result of a 2012 lawsuit by the Center for Constitutional Rights, filed on behalf of inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison, a supermax facility located just south of the California-Oregon border. The lawsuit, Ashker v. Brown, argued that Pelican Bay’s reliance on prolonged, indefinite solitary confinement — one plaintiff had been in isolation for 43 years — was unconstitutional. But the Ashker settlement has no bearing on California’s 123 jails and their roughly 73,000 inmates, which are under the control of county sheriffs’ departments.

  • ISIS suspect being held under ‘brutal conditions’

    CMUs/Prison Conditions October 23, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: MPR News. Attorneys for a Minneapolis man in jail awaiting trial on terrorism conspiracy charges say he is living under “brutal conditions” and has been placed in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. Glenn Bruder, attorney for Guled Omar said that Omar, 21, is being held in a secure unit intended for people with mental health problems and disciplinary cases. It adds that he has also been denied visits from his family. In the secure unit where he’s being held, Bruder wrote, Omar is not allowed to have reading materials. His legal papers were confiscated, because he is not allowed to have more than a half-inch of paper at one time.

  • In rare admission, US says evidence against ex–Gitmo inmate was unreliable

    CMUs/Prison Conditions October 21, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: AlJazeera. The U.S. government has, in a seemingly rare admission of intelligence failing, stated publicly that its central allegation against a former Guantánamo prisoner turned out to be unreliable and was withdrawn in 2011.Younous Chekkouri was repatriated to Morocco last month after languishing at the controversial detention camp in Cuba since 2002. He is currently detained in Salé prison, near Rabat, awaiting a decision over his release.

  • Torture by another name: CIA used ‘water dousing’ on at least 12 detainees

    CMUs/Prison Conditions October 16, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Guardian. At least a dozen more people were subjected to waterboard-like tactics in CIA custody than the agency has admitted, according to a fresh accounting of the US government’s most discredited form of torture. The CIA maintains it only subjected three detainees to waterboarding. But agency interrogators subjected at least 12 others to a similar technique, known as “water dousing”, that also created a drowning sensation or chilled a person’s body temperature – sometimes through “immersion” in water, and often without use of a board.

  • Shaker Aamer fears he will die in Guantánamo Bay

    CMUs/Prison Conditions October 4, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Guardian. The last UK resident in military prison tells his lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, “anything can happen before I get out”, despite US promising his release. He was cleared for release in 2007, but Stafford Smith said Aamer was still being mistreated in Guantánamo and had told him he feared he would not be allowed to leave alive.

  • Despite pledge, U.S. still not letting Gitmo detainees tell their stories

    CMUs/Prison Conditions September 29, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. Despite promises to allow Guantánamo prisoners to speak more freely about their experiences there, the U.S. government is still blocking the release of over 100 pages of notes and diaries from torture victim Abu Zubaydah. DefenseZubaydah, who the Bush administration incorrectly alleged was a key al Qaeda operative and who has never been charged with a crime, has sent his lawyers hand-written letters, declarations, and other materials describing his torture and confinement in CIA black sites and Guantánamo Bay.

  • Classified files could exonerate former Gitmo detainee now imprisoned in Morocco

    CMUs/Prison Conditions September 24, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. Two more prisoners have left Guantanamo Bay in the last week, but one of those men, a 47-year-old named Younous Chekkouri, has not received a warm welcome in his native Morocco. On arrival he was detained by Moroccan authorities and now may face terrorism-related charges. Last night, Chekkouri’s lawyers learned he had been moved to Salé prison, a facility that has been singled out by human rights groups for torture of detainees. In federal habeas corpus proceedings, the government ended up withdrawing many of its claims against Chekkouri, and in 2010, an interagency review recommended him for transfer out of Guantanamo. But much of the material from the habeas proceedings is still secret, under seal in the District Court in Washington D.C. Chekourri’s attorney says that those court filings contain information that would help prove his innocence.

  • Released Guantanamo detainee describes terror on US repatriation flight

    CMUs/Prison Conditions September 22, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Sputnik News. After being detained by the United States without charge for 13 years in their “War on Terror,” Moroccan citizen Younis Abdurrahman Chekkouri was repatriated to his homeland last week, but was not immediately released by local Moroccan authorities. Despite Chekkouri being transported out of American custody and not ever being charged, his attorney contends that his brutal mistreatment continued as he was blindfolded and shackled during his ten-hour flight back to Morocco, forced to wear sound-cancelling earmuffs.

  • U.S. blocks release of new CIA torture details about Abu Zubaydah

    CMUs/Prison Conditions September 10, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Reuters. U.S. government officials have blocked the release of 116 pages of defense lawyers’ notes detailing the torture that Guantanamo Bay detainee Abu Zubaydah says he experienced in CIA custody, defense lawyers said on Thursday. The treatment of Zubaydah, who lost one eye and was waterboarded 83 times in a single month while held by the CIA, according to government documents, has been the focus of speculation for years. Joe Margulies, Zubaydah’s lead defense lawyer,and lawyers for other detainees said that the decision showed that the Obama administration plans to continue declaring detainees’ accounts of their own torture classified. A Central Intelligence Agency spokesperson declined to comment.