Tag Archives | Torture
Two U.S. citizens were arrested, detained, held in captivity for months and tortured by the military after blowing the whistle on the now defunct private contractor they worked for. An Illinois court has upheld a motion to allow the pair to sue Donald Rumsfeld and other unnamed officials, but expect fierce resistance from the Obama administration. Aaron Cynic writes at Chicagoist:
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The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled Monday two men can move forward with a civil lawsuit against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The Tribune reports the Court upheld a decision from a federal judge allowing a lawsuit which holds Rumsfeld personally responsible for the torture of Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel, two former defense contractors in Iraq.
In 2006, while Vance and Ertel were working in Iraq for Shield Group Security, a private contractor, they began to suspect their employer of involvement in illegal arms trading, bribery, and other activities.
I have on good authority that this song was played at something called the "Jihadi Bar," a place where CIA interrogators working at a Black Site went to unwind. That and other secrets of undisclosed torture prisons are found within my interview with ex-interrogator Glenn Carle for Danger Room.
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]