CMUs/Prison Conditions

  • 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.

  • Prison officials join movement to curb solitary confinement

    CMUs/Prison Conditions September 2, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The New York Times. In a sign of how far the nation has moved from supporting solitary confinement for inmates, the leading organization for the nation’s prison and jail administrators on Wednesday called for sharply limiting or even ending its use for extended periods. The statement from the Association of State Correctional Administrators, whose members are largely responsible for the growth in solitary confinement in recent decades, is its most forceful to date on the practice. Calls for reducing the use of solitary have taken on greater urgency since President Obama ordered the Justice Department in July to review its use in federal prisons.

  • Young black man jailed since April for alleged $5 theft found dead in cell

    CMUs/Prison Conditions August 28, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Guardian. A young black man arrested by police in Portsmouth, Virginia, on the same day that one of the city’s officers fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old, has been found dead in jail after spending almost four months behind bars without bail for stealing groceries worth $5. Jamycheal Mitchell, who had mental health problems, was discovered lying on the floor of his cell by guards early last Wednesday, according to authorities. While his body is still awaiting an autopsy, senior prison officials said his death was not being treated as suspicious.

  • Chelsea Manning found guilty for prison contraband, including Vanity Fair’s Caitlyn Jenner cover

    CMUs/Prison Conditions August 19, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Washington Post. Whistleblower Chelsea Manning was found guilty Tuesday on four disciplinary charges and given 21 days of recreational restrictions for breaking military prison rules — keeping expired toothpaste and Vanity Fair’s Caitlyn Jenner cover, among other things, in her cell, her attorney said. Manning’s attorney, Chase Strangio with the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement Manning was convicted during a four-hour, closed-door disciplinary hearing without legal representation. A message from Manning’s Twitter account said her restrictions include “no gym, library or outdoors.”

  • Chelsea Manning denied access to legal library prior to prison hearing, she says

    Source: The Guardian. Chelsea Manning, the soldier and Guardian columnist, has been denied access to a prison legal library days before a crucial hearing at which she will represent herself against charges including possession of unapproved reading material, according to a message posted to her official Twitter account at the weekend. The hearing is part of a legal process that could result in indefinite solitary confinement for Manning, for reported violations that also include storing a tube of expired toothpaste in her military prison cell.

  • Jeb Bush is not the only 2016 candidate open to torture

    CMUs/Prison Conditions August 14, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Time. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s statement Thursday that he would not rule out resuming the use of enhanced interrogation techniques was as interesting for what he said as what he didn’t. The Republican presidential candidate told a group of Iowa Republicans that he wasn’t sure whether he’d repeal an executive order banning certain interrogation techniques signed by President Obama. Bush’s position is not all that out of step with his Republican rivals. Many in the 2016 field have a similar view: They aren’t enthusiastic about torture and probably wouldn’t use techniques like waterboarding on people suspected of terrorism, but they don’t want to say exactly what they would and wouldn’t do. The position boils down to three words: Just trust us.

  • Guantánamo hunger striker’s petition divides officials

    Source: The New York Times. Obama administration officials are divided over what to do about a detainee at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, who has been on a hunger strike since February 2007 and now weighs less than 75 pounds, according to officials familiar with internal deliberations.A lawyer for the detainee, a Yemeni named Tariq Ba Odah, has asked a federal judge to order his release because of his “severe physical and psychological deterioration.”