Thursday, April 14, 2005

Guantánamo Detainee's Suit Says Prison Guards Beat Him

“At one time, military officials said there was no widespread abuse at Guantánamo. But they have had to deal with several accusations of abuse, including the one that stemmed from F.B.I. memorandums that provided credibility and corroboration to accounts from released detainees and from lawyers who represent detainees.…”


By NEIL A. LEWIS
“A lawsuit filed in federal court on Wednesday says guards at the Guantánamo Bay detention center beat a detainee frequently, leaving him with visible scars and partial facial paralysis.

The suit, filed on behalf of Mustafa Ait Idir, an Algerian, is based on accounts that he gave his American lawyer on a recent visit to Guantánamo, in Cuba. Mr. Idir's lawyers said he told them that sometime in the spring of 2004 he was forcibly removed from his cell and that while he was shackled and lying on the ground, a guard jumped on his head. As a result, the suit said, Mr. Idir apparently suffered a stroke and has one side of his face paralyzed.

Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale & Dorr, is representing Mr. Idir and five fellow Algerians at Guantánamo in a suit that seeks their release. The six were captured in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The lawyer's accounts form the basis of a federal suit in Boston that asks the Defense Department to release medical records that might corroborate Mr. Idir's account.

A law firm in Boston, Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale & Dorr, is representing Mr. Idir and five fellow Algerians at Guantánamo in a suit that seeks their release. The six were captured in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The suit is the first effort to use the Freedom of Information Act to compel the Bush administration to disclose medical records at Guantánamo.

A senior Air Force general has been investigating possible abuses at Guantánamo, an assignment that stemmed from the disclosure of several Federal Bureau of Investigation memorandums in which bureau agents recounted abuses that they had witnessed there.

The memorandums, which were not meant to be made public but were disclosed in a separate suit by the American Civil Liberties Union, provided accounts of detainees' being beaten and chained for long periods.

Unlawful Combatants are no longer people out of uniform in the combat zone, but according to the Bush administration, people picked up anywhere that are suspected of anything that the administration chooses to designate that way.

Like Dred Scott, they have no rights the executive branch need consider. They have been declared non people. They have been so declared at Ohare, La Guardia, Bosnia, and anyplace else on the planet.
A.I.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/14/politics/14detain.html
con·cept: Guantánamo Detainee's Suit Says Prison Guards Beat Him