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(en) Daybreak #3 - Internment Camps

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(http://free.freespeech.org/mn/daybreak!/article18.html)
Date Mon, 25 Nov 2002 10:04:24 -0500 (EST)


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During the summer of 1942, the United States Army's Western
Defense Command displaced 110, 000 people of Japanese descent
from their homes near the pacific coast. Both American born and
alien Japanese residents were forcibly moved into the ten
internment camps between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the
Mississippi River. These camps were "to serve as wartime homes
for those evacuees who might be unable or unfit to relocate in
ordinary American communities."

This situation is witnessed again today, as over 1,100 people have
been detained in connection with the September 11th attacks.
Eerily similar to past concentration camps, detainees are being
held in undisclosed locations while authorities release little or no
information about exactly who has been arrested or why they are
being held. The American Civil Liberties Union and other human
rights organizations urged the government to release basic
information about those arrested but received no reply. "We have
been deeply disappointed with the government's refusal to release
information that would assure the American public that this
crucial investigation is being conducted with the basic protections
guaranteed by our laws," Gregory Nojeim said. Attorney General
John Ashcroft claims they are not required to release information
as the government's actions are "consistent with the framework of
law that we operate under."

Of the people who have been taken into custody, many have come
out with horrifying stories. A Pakistani student in Mississippi was
stripped and beaten in his cell by inmates while guards watched
and then failed to give him medical attention. In New York, Israeli
men were blindfolded and handcuffed in their cells. After
determining that his only crime was overstaying a visa,
Muhammed Rafiq Butt, a 55 year-old Pakistani man was detained
for eight days at the Hudson County Correctional Center without
being released or deported. Mr. Butt was not allowed to contact
his family or the Pakistani consulate regarding his detention. I
wasn't until an inmate found him dead of a heart attack in his cell
that the Pakistani consulate was informed. Internee Yazeed
Al-Salmi recounted his nine-day detention in a Manhattan facility:
"They don't call you by name. . . . They call you fucking terrorist."
Others have been kept in solitary confinement, denied adequate
food and medical supplies, and been beaten and verbally abused
by guards.  Police have denied those arrested their legal rights to
see attorneys or make phone calls, and at least one attorney said
he would not talk publicly for fear of angering federal prosecutors.

Most of the detainees are being held only on immigration or other
petty violations, while a small number are being held as material
witnesses. Over 100 arrests resulted from tapped phones in the
hours after the crashes because they were heard "celebrating."
Officials, who are notoriously shorthanded in Arabic translators,
don't know if those arrested are connected with the attacks. No
one has been charged with terrorist activities.


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