Tag Archives | Torture
Via Guernica, Karen Greenberg sounds the warning on what she terms “enemy creep.” Treatments once reserved for foreign terror suspects will be applied to the U.S. populace, as the definition of the “enemy” continually expands.
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It has been a persistent worry of civil libertarians that violations of the rights of non-citizens would eventually contaminate the ways citizens are treated, too; that a process of “enemy creep” would, in the end, result in the Guantanamo-ization of American terrorism suspects.
When rights were first denied to captives at Guantanamo Bay, the Bush administration argued that a prison in Cuba should not be considered subject to the constitutional principles that apply to Americans everywhere or to anyone within the territorial boundaries of the U.S. It is, however, quite another matter, as in the King hearings, to single out Muslims or others in our midst as potential terrorists and then to argue that when arrested—even if they are U.S.
Amnesty International has today called on the Egyptian authorities to investigate serious allegations of torture, including forced ‘virginity tests’, inflicted by the army on women protesters arrested in Tahrir Square earlier this month.
After army officers violently cleared the square of protesters on 9 March, at least 18 women were held in military detention. Amnesty International has been told by women protesters that they were beaten, given electric shocks, subjected to strip searches while being photographed by male soldiers, then forced to submit to ‘virginity checks’ and threatened with prostitution charges.
‘Virginity tests’ are a form of torture when they are forced or coerced.
“Forcing women to have ‘virginity tests’ is utterly unacceptable. Its purpose is to degrade women because they are women,” said Amnesty International. “All members of the medical profession must refuse to take part in such so-called ‘tests’.”
[Continues at Amnesty International]
In the aftermath of Mubarak’s downfall, Egyptian protesters stormed the headquarters of the feared-and-hated state security service, exposing what lay hidden inside: mountains-worth of shredded documents, endless surveillance footage of ordinary citizens, horrific torture devices, never-seen sex tapes of Arab royalty, and “a closet full of belly-dancing outfits” likely used for psychological torture. Al Jazeera has the story:
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The protesters who stormed the offices of Egyptian state security this weekend say the buildings are proof of “the greatest privacy invasion in history”, filled with transcripts of phone conversations, surveillance reports and stark reminders of the torture carried out inside.
Hundreds of protesters seized the state security building – a prominent symbol of the Egyptian government’s brutality – after hours of protests in 6th of October City on Saturday night. The takeover was the climax of several days of protests outside other state security buildings.
One photo from inside the state security building showed a room full of shredded papers, the pile reaching almost to the ceiling.
After Amnesty raised concerns that the Egyptian executive of Google was being held without reason, he was released today, 10 days after his disappearance. CNN reports:
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Google executive Wael Ghonim was released Monday in Egypt, the company announced.
“Huge relief — Wael Ghonim has been released. Our love to him and his family,” the company tweeted shortly after 8 p.m. in Cairo (1 p.m. ET).
Ghonim’s Twitter account, which had not had a posting since he went missing January 28, carried a tweet around the same time.
“Freedom is a bless (sic) that deserves fighting for it,” the tweet said, ending with the hashtag “#Jan25,” a reference to the Egypt protests.
Minutes later, Ghonim added this tweet: “Gave my 2 cents to Dr. Hosam Badrawy. who was reason why I am out today. Asked him resign cause that’s the only way I’ll respect him.”
Hossam Badrawi, often described as a relatively liberal politician, was recently elevated to become secretary general of the ruling National Democratic Party.
It didn’t take long after his arrival before “Baby Doc” Duvalier was questioned about his crimes. BBC News reports:
Former Haitian leader Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier has been questioned by judicial officials and was later led out of his hotel by police.
He was questioned over claims he stole from the country’s treasury. It is not clear whether he has been arrested.
Haiti’s chief prosecutor and a judge were seen arriving at his hotel in Port-au-Prince earlier on Tuesday.
Mr Duvalier, who ruled the country for 15 years before being ousted in 1986, made a surprise return to Haiti Sunday.
“He will be questioned and he will remain at the disposal of the judicial system,” a senior government official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters news agency earlier.
[Continues at BBC News]
Al Jazeera reports:
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The United Nations is looking into a complaint on behalf of a US soldier who is said to have been mistreated while held since May in US army custody pending trial.
Bradley Manning, an army private suspected of giving classified documents to WikiLeaks, the whistleblower website, is being held in solitary confinement at a Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia, and faces a court martial sometime in 2011.
The office of Manfred Nowak, the UN special rapporteur on torture in Geneva, received a complaint from one of Manning’s supporters alleging conditions amount to torture. Visitors say he spends at least 23 hours a day alone in a cell.
The UN could ask the US to stop any violations it finds. However, the Pentagon has denied mistreating Manning.
A Marine Corps spokesman says the military is keeping Manning safe, secure and ready for trial.
Manning was charged in July with leaking classified material, including a video posted by WikiLeaks of a 2007 US Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed a Reuters news photographer and his driver.
The AFP reports, via CommonDreams:
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The International Committee of the Red Cross provided US diplomats in 2005 with evidence of the systematic use of torture by Indian security forces in Kashmir, leaked US diplomatic cables revealed Friday.
In a confidential briefing, the ICRC told the diplomats of 177 visits it had made to detention centres in Indian Kashmir that revealed “stable trend lines” of prisoner abuses, according to the cables released by website WikiLeaks.
Techniques included electric shock treatment, sexual and water torture and nearly 300 cases of “roller” abuse in which a round metal object is placed on the thighs of a sitting detainee and then sat on by guards to crush the muscles.
The ICRC said it had been “forced to conclude that the (Indian government) condones torture,” the cables said.
Human rights groups have repeatedly accused India of abuses in Muslim-majority Indian Kashmir, where it has been fighting an armed separatist insurgency for more than 20 years.