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By William F. Gavin

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Tag: Prison

Egyptian Blogger Endured ‘Weeks of Torture and Humiliation’

An Egyptian blogger, Karim el-Beheiri, who was arrested with two former co-workers from Mahalla’s Misr Spinning and Weaving company (all three were fired after their arrest) on April 6 and released Sunday, said he and his colleagues were shocked, beaten and denied sustenance during their ordeal behind bars.

Posted on Jun 2, 2008 READ MORE


George Ryan
tomroeser.com

Former Illinois Governor Is Denied Appeal, Stays in Prison

The fraud and racketeering case against former Illinois Gov. George Ryan has come to an end after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his final request to appeal his 2006 conviction. With no other move to make, Ryan, who has been incarcerated since late 2007, will likely seek a commutation of his six-year sentence from President Bush.

Posted on May 28, 2008 READ MORE


Harman and al-Jamadi
blogs.nytimes.com

The Ghosts of Abu Ghraib

Documentary whiz Errol Morris is turning his camera on Abu Ghraib’s most notorious moments in his latest film, “Standard Operating Procedure,” in which he unearths a host of unsettling information about torture, “ghost” prisoners and interrogators, and, as Morris describes in this blog about his new project, exactly what happened to prisoner Manadel al-Jamadi’s body after he died under interrogation at the prison in Iraq.

Posted on May 20, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / o2ma / ninjapoodle

Land of the Not-So-Free

The United States of America holds nearly one-quarter of the world’s prisoners. That’s because of an alarmingly high incarceration rate—the highest by far in the world—that strikes some as tough and others as simply barbaric. About one in every 100 adult Americans sits behind bars. Oh, and it’s a racist system, to boot. Take that, China!

Posted on Apr 24, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
news.bbc.co.uk

Inside a CIA Black Site

A Yemeni man has told Amnesty International that he was abducted and tortured and spent nearly three years in secret prisons at the hands of the CIA. Khaled al-Maqtari says that without charge, legal representation or even a word to his family he was shuttled from one prison to another and ultimately dumped into Yemeni custody, once the U.S. had finished with him.

Posted on Mar 14, 2008 READ MORE


Dr. Al-Arian
tkb.org

Dr. Al-Arian’s Third Strike

The Palestinian activist Dr. Sami Amin Al-Arian, imprisoned for five years despite a jury’s failure to return a single guilty verdict against him, has gone on a hunger strike in a Virginia jail.

Posted on Mar 7, 2008 READ MORE


Lessons of Internment

Yuri Kochiyama’s remarkable life took her from a Japanese internment camp in Arkansas to the Audubon Ballroom, where she witnessed the assassination of her friend Malcom X, and on to Oakland, where she continues to struggle for social justice.

Posted on Feb 20, 2008 READ MORE


Millions Without a Voice

With all the talk of record voter participation, we should take a moment to think of the Americans, many of them African-American and Latino, who have been disenfranchised because they once committed a felony.

Posted on Feb 6, 2008 READ MORE


Jordan
bbc.co.uk

U.S. Army Officer Cleared in Abu Ghraib Case

The disgrace brought on the U.S. by members of the military who participated in the abuse of prisoners at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison will likely linger for some time, but one of the key Army figures involved in the case, Lt. Col. Steven Jordan (pictured), has been cleared of any serious charges from the 2003 scandal.

Posted on Jan 12, 2008 READ MORE


Surviving a CIA ‘Black Site’

The kidnap and torture program of the Bush administration, with its secret CIA “black site” prisons and “torture taxi” flights on private jets, saw a little light of day this week.

Posted on Dec 18, 2007 READ MORE


Barry Bonds
Aislin, The Montreal Gazette

Lance Williams on Barry Bonds

The “Game of Shadows” co-author shares his thoughts on Barry Bonds’ legal woes, the impact of steroids on sports and how Nancy Pelosi helped to keep him (Williams) out of jail.

Posted on Dec 7, 2007 READ MORE


Sudan protest
AP photo / Abdi Raouf

Sudanese Rally for Execution of British Teacher

An apparently innocent class exercise, during which British teacher Gillian Gibbons allowed her students in Khartoum, Sudan, to name a teddy bear Muhammad, has led to 15 days of jail time, deportation and now death threats for Gibbons. 

Posted on Nov 30, 2007 READ MORE


America’s Gulag Goes Before the Court

The Supreme Court will soon revisit the constitutionality of Guantanamo Bay, where hundreds of men languish without any real legal recourse.

Posted on Nov 28, 2007 READ MORE


teddy bear
bbc.co.uk

Teacher Arrested for Teddy Bear Name Game

In a particularly delicate situation involving crossed cultural wires, a British primary school teacher in Sudan could face six months in jail, a fine or 40 lashes after allowing her students to name a teddy bear “Muhammad” for a class exercise.

Posted on Nov 26, 2007 READ MORE


Diego Garcia
guardian.co.uk

Britain to Investigate ‘CIA Black Site’

The British government’s Foreign Affairs Committee will look into charges by a number of sources, including human rights groups and a retired U.S. general, that sovereign British land has been used as a CIA “black site” prison. The island of Diego Garcia, in the Indian Ocean, has been leased to the United States and is the site of an American military base but remains British territory.

Posted on Oct 19, 2007 READ MORE


Sweeping Our Inhumanity Under the Rug

By simply deciding that something is a “state secret,” the Bush government has avoided answering for its brutal treatment of innocent victims in the war on terror.  This is a perversion of the principle of American justice.

Posted on Oct 15, 2007 READ MORE


Egyptian protest
AP photo

Outsourcing Torture

The Bush administration has called for the respect of human rights in Burma, a pretty safe piece of posturing, but it remains silent as Egypt’s dictator, Gen. Hosni Mubarak, unleashes the largest crackdown on public opposition in over a decade. Our moral indignation over the shooting of monks masks the incestuous and growing alliance we have built in the so-called war on terror with some of the world’s most venal dictatorships.

Posted on Oct 15, 2007 READ MORE


Supreme Court
laapush.org

Top Court Refuses to Hear Torture Case

German citizen Khaled el-Masri’s quest for justice, following his “extraordinary rendition,” has come to an end.  Masri claims he was kidnapped by CIA operatives in late 2003 and tortured for months in an Afghan prison, but his case was closed on Tuesday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider his appeal.

Posted on Oct 9, 2007 READ MORE


Juvenile inmates
AP photo / Charles Rex Arbogast

Crime, Poverty and Education: It’s Not Rocket Science

Truthdig regulars Sheerly Avni, James Harris and Josh Scheer put their heads together to try to figure out why the big problems that plague our communities never get solved.

Posted on Sep 25, 2007 READ MORE


Juvenile inmates
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Crime, Poverty and Education: It’s Not Rocket Science

Truthdig regulars Sheerly Avni, James Harris and Josh Scheer put their heads together to try to figure out why the big problems that plague our communities never get solved.

Posted on Sep 11, 2007 READ MORE


thriller

Things to Do in Prison ... in the Philippines

Filipino prisoners feel the “funk of forty thousand years” and perform with eerie skillfulness the entire music video for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” In case you needed it, this is further proof that the world remains a very strange place. A must-see, especially on a Friday. (Via BoingBoing)

Posted on Jul 20, 2007 READ MORE


crosses
James Harris

It’s the Ecstasy, Stupid

Oakland’s skyrocketing murder rate has experts scratching their heads, but cultural critic Sheerly Avni suggests that one answer lies in plain sight.  Just ask the kids who are likeliest to kill and be killed, and you will learn that a major villain is the “hug drug.”

Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


White House Considers Shutting Down Guantanamo

Although the White House says no decision is imminent, the Associated Press is reporting that the Bush administration is close to shutting down the island prison and transferring the detainees to military facilities inside the U.S., where they could face trial. The vice president and attorney general have previously shot down any attempt to close Gitmo, but anonymous sources say a consensus for closure is building.

Posted on Jun 21, 2007 READ MORE


It Can Happen Here

Thirty-nine individuals held in U.S. custody at one time or another are unaccounted for—missing or disappeared in the style of a Third World dictatorship. What have we become?

Posted on Jun 12, 2007 READ MORE


Powell
nndb.com

Colin Powell: Close Guantanamo Immediately

Colin Powell has come out against Guantanamo Bay: “Guantanamo has become a major, major problem ... in the way the world perceives America and if it were up to me I would close Guantanamo, not tomorrow but this afternoon.” The former secretary of state has been eager to rehabilitate his image in recent years after a disastrous WMD sales pitch at the U.N.

Posted on Jun 10, 2007 READ MORE


jackk
AP Photo / Carlos Osorio, pool

Welcome Back, Jack Kevorkian

After spending eight years in the slammer on a second-degree murder conviction, Dr. Jack Kevorkian (that’s him in the blue cardigan), a.k.a. “Dr. Death,” is once again a free man—and he hasn’t changed his belief that terminally ill patients have the right to die.

Posted on Jun 1, 2007 READ MORE


Italian Prisoners Ask for Death

More than 300 of Italy’s life-sentence prisoners have signed a letter asking the Italian president to reinstate the death penalty and change their sentences.  Italy is one of the world’s leading opponents of execution and even allows prisoners serving life sentences conditional release after years of good behavior. But the inmates who signed the letter seem to feel that life behind bars is not worth living.

Posted on May 31, 2007 READ MORE


Gitmo Detainee Commits Suicide

A Saudi prisoner at the detention center in Guantanamo Bay has apparently committed suicide, the U.S. military said in a statement. Human rights organizations have repeatedly warned that indefinite detentions—some now longer than five years—combined with harsh “interrogation techniques” and unfair trials could drive detainees to take their own lives.

Posted on May 30, 2007 READ MORE


Cleared Detainees Stuck in Gitmo Limbo

Imagine enduring five years of imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay, finally winning your release and then learning you had no place to go. Eighty-two detainees have been cleared for release by the U.S., but remain at the facility, either because their home countries refuse to take them or they would face torture if repatriated. What’s worse, the U.S., Europe and other allies have all but washed their hands of the situation.

Posted on Apr 29, 2007 READ MORE


Chief of U.S. Prison in Baghdad Arrested

The American commander in charge of Baghdad’s Camp Cropper, which holds about 3,300 detainees, has been arrested by U.S. forces for a range of alleged offenses. Lt. Col. William Steele stands accused of providing a phone to detainees, having an inappropriate relationship with both an interpreter and a detainee’s daughter and mishandling classified information, among other charges.

Posted on Apr 26, 2007 READ MORE


When Justice Is Skin-Deep

The falsely accused Duke lacrosse players deserve their indignation, but so does Jerry Miller, who spent 24 years in jail for a rape he did not commit. It turns out there are many innocent men—too many of them African-American—who have done time they shouldn’t have, and there are probably many, many more.

Posted on Apr 26, 2007 READ MORE


Josh Wolf
AP Photo / Benjamin Sklar

Blogger Jailed Longer Than Any Other Modern Journalist

Josh Wolf has been in prison for more than 170 days—longer than any other journalist in modern history. The freelance videographer and blogger has been held since he refused to hand over footage of WTO protesters to authorities because, he says, the precedent would make journalists “de facto deputies and investigators” for law enforcement.

Posted on Feb 8, 2007 READ MORE


Susan McDougal

Susan McDougal: The Woman Who Wouldn’t Talk

When Susan McDougal refused to implicate the Clintons in the Whitewater fiasco, she was thrown in prison, left alone with murderers and her own stubborn dignity. Savaged by Republicans and abandoned by Democrats, she would emerge from that dark chapter of American history a hero.
UPDATE: Full transcript now available.

Posted on Jan 16, 2007 READ MORE


Paul Cummins: Writing Poetry Beats Armed Robbery

An enrichment program for incarcerated L.A. youths is proving that non-punitive rehabilitation can and does work.

Posted on Jan 3, 2007 READ MORE


Martin Lee Anderson
cbsnews.com

14-Year-Old Was Likely Beaten to Death

Martin Lee Anderson, 14, died a day after he was beaten and dragged by nine guards while in the custody of a juvenile boot camp in Florida. The medical examiner initially ruled that Martin died of natural causes, but… (h/t: Largest Minority)

Posted on Dec 29, 2006 READ MORE


Guards
jwharrison.com

U.S. Has More Prisoners Than Any Other Country

The United States has the largest prison population in the world, with 2.2 million people in prison and 7 million in prison, on probation or on parole.  China, which has about a billion more people than the U.S., has only 1.5 million prisoners.

Posted on Dec 11, 2006 READ MORE


Robert Pratt
nytimes.com

Public Money Used to Indoctrinate Prisoners

Tax dollars are going toward an unlawful program of religious indoctrination in prisons, according to Iowa federal Judge Robert W. Pratt, who now finds himself fighting a battle against entrenched forces from evangelical ministries, prison corporations and the Bush administration.

Posted on Dec 10, 2006 READ MORE


Nicaragua Abortion Law Leaves Women and Doctors With No Options

Abortions were already illegal in Nicaragua, but today a law passed removing an exception in the previous law, which allowed a woman to obtain an abortion legally with the approval of three doctors who confirmed that the woman’s life was in danger.  Many conservatives in government advocated 30-year prison terms for women who terminate their pregnancies and the doctors who perform the abortions, but the stricter prison terms did not pass. Currently the punishment is a six-year prison term.  An estimated 32,000 illegal abortions are performed in Nicaragua each year.

Posted on Nov 20, 2006 READ MORE


Jeffrey Skilling
aktualne.centrum.cz

Skilling Gets 24 Years

Still maintaining his innocence, former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling was sentenced Monday to 24 years for his role in the collapse of the energy giant.  Skilling’s remaining assets will be liquidated, with about $45 million going to a victims’ fund.

Posted on Oct 23, 2006 READ MORE


Ann Richards
From tsl.state.tx.us

Molly Ivins: Remembering Ann Richards

The Texas-based columnist reminisces about the former Texas governor, who died Wednesday from cancer. “Anyone who ever heard her speak at an AA convention knows how close laughter and tears can be.”

Posted on Sep 15, 2006 READ MORE


Matt Lauer and President Bush

Lauer Challenges Bush on Torture, CIA Prisons

NBC host Matt Lauer confronts President Bush on a fundamental apparent inconsistency in his interrogation policy: If it’s legal, why are we doing it in secret CIA prisons abroad? Cornered, Bush doesn’t answer straight. Watch the fireworks.

Posted on Sep 11, 2006 READ MORE


Gitmo detainees
From antiwar.com

U.S. Will Give All U.S. Detainees Geneva Rights

The White House said this morning that every prisoner in Gitmo and in U.S. military custody everywhere is entitled to Geneva Convention protections. Bush spokesman Tony Snow claimed that this apparent about-face is “not really a reversal of policy,” while admitting that it stems directly from the Supreme Court’s striking down of Bush’s military tribunals.

  • Reminder: This is far from total victory. Constitutional expert Glenn Greenwald reminds us that the Hamdan ruling also removed any conceivable argument to support Bush’s illegal wiretapping programs, and we haven’t heard about any policy shift on that front….

  • Posted on Jul 11, 2006 READ MORE


    Judge Strikes Down Iowa Christian Prison Program

    In a ruling that could have major implications for Bush’s faith-based initiatives, an Iowa judge ruled that an evangelical Christian prison rehabilitation program was “pervasively sectarian,” and that the state of Iowa “is excessively entangled with religion” through the program.

    Posted on Jun 13, 2006 READ MORE


    Bush Rallies His Base

    Share
    Posted on May 26, 2006 READ MORE


    1 in 136 U.S. Residents Behind Bars

    Let those numbers sink in for a minute. 1 in 136. According to government statistics, roughly 2.2 million U.S. residents were in prisons and jails last summer. It’s by far the highest per capita rate of any country in the world. And it’s mostly due to our unforgivably barbaric drug policies.

    Posted on May 21, 2006 READ MORE


    Frank Rich: ‘Traitors’ in the White House and Senate

    The fiery N.Y. Times columnist returns from book leave with an attack on the real “traitors” in America: a White House that has compounded lies with incompetence to spy on Americans, run “black site” Eastern European prisons and prosecute an unjust war.

    Posted on May 14, 2006 READ MORE


    Zacarias Moussaoui
    From terrorismcentral.com

    Moussaoui Gets Life for 9/11 Role

    The so-called 12th hijacker escaped the death penalty and was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

    Posted on May 3, 2006 READ MORE


    Iraqi prisoner
    From The Washington Post

    More Torture Discovered in Iraqi Jails

    U.S. inspectors are not removing from Iraqi jails prisoners who show signs of being tortured by Iraqi jailers—as the U.S. has pledged to do.
    This is progress—of a sort. Now, instead of torturing the prisoners ourselves, we’re turning a blind eye to Iraqi-on-Iraqi torture.

    Posted on Apr 24, 2006 READ MORE


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