Thursday, August 04, 2005

US "Secret" Detainment Facilities

Today, Amnesty International released yet another report on US abuses, this time highlighting "secret" worldwide detainment facilities. Back in June, Amnesty International delegates visited two Yemeni detainees said to have recently been transferred from the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. This is a synopsis of their findings.

map of detention camps

Two individuals, Mahummad Faraj Ahmed Bashmilah and Salah Nasser Salim after 1.5 years were transported to a detainment center in Jordan for four days. They were held in solitary confinement with no explanation, visits from family, lawyers, diplomatic representatives or Red Cross members. While in Jordan, both were tortured and held only by request of US authorities.

Salah Salim (27) was detained in August 2003 in Jakarta by authorities. He was held for 4 days, handcuffed, blindfolded and without food. After repeated attempts, his wife was told he was held by immigration authorities, and she had to pay money for his release. After his passport expired, he was told he would be transported to Yemen via Thailland and Jordan. He was later detained by Jordan authorities in a torture "hotel" where he was beaten, sodomized and underwent electric shocks.

Muhammad Faraj Ahmed Bashmilah (37) also lived in Indonesia. In October 2003, he travelled to Jordan with his wife to be with his mother and was detained at Amman airport by Jordanian immigration authorities. After re-collecting his passport three-days later, he was asked if he had ever been to Afghanistan. He said "yes" and was thenwhiskedd away to be interrogated by both Jordanian and US interrogators. After a year and a half later, he was transferred to Yemen.

Both men were transported to a secret facility run by US forces. These prisoners "disappeared" from the international radar for 1 year and half. Amnesty documents the use of this technique as against UN regulations:
"Enforced disappearances" are described in the 3rd preambular paragraph of the UN Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances as taking place when,

"... people are arrested, detained or abducted against their will or otherwise deprived of their liberty by officials of different branches or levels of Government, or by organized groups or private individuals acting on behalf of, or with the support, direct or indirect, consent or acquiescence of the Government, followed by a refusal to disclose the fate or whereabouts of the persons concerned or a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of their liberty, which places such persons outside the protection of the law."
Thousands of detainees remain held in US custody in Iraq and hundreds remain in US custody in Afghanistan, with some of them detained without trial and virtually incommunicado for more than a year. Several thousand other detainees are believed to be held in the custody of other governments at the behest of the USA.

Help Amnesty International deal with this epidemic and call to action the following governments:

Jordan: Call on the Jordanian Authorities to Stop Torture in Detention Centers
Yemen: Urge Yemen to Stop Secret and Incommunicado Detentions and 'Disappearances'
Egypt: Detainees at Risk of Torture in Unknown Locations

Also, let your senators know how you feel about torture in the name of US Liberty and Justice.


At 11:37 PM GMT-5, Blogger leftyjones said...

Great Post! Thanks for the information....way to get it all out there in such succinct fashion.
You've got a great blog here...more of your fans should speak up and say so.


At 4:14 PM GMT-5, Blogger the prisoner said...

Thank you for your compliment. Though I might be "succinct", your wit is well-appreciated.

As for fans speaking up, I hope they act more than they comment!


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