Thursday, June 18, 2009

ACLU:Against Gitmo Detainee Transfer to "Little Gitmo"

The ACLU has spoken out against Muslim prisoners being held in Gitmo. They have won that battle as President Obama is going to close the facility. But that is not enough, they are now fighting a transfer to an Indiana prison dubbed "Little Guantanamo". Apparently the ACLU is only happy when our enemies are released to island resorts.

ACLU to fight prisoner’s transfer to Terre Haute facility
Dean Kuipers Los Angeles Times

Civil rights activists plan to file a lawsuit Thursday contesting the transfer of a Tunisian-American prisoner to a federal prison facility in Indiana that some inmates have dubbed “Little Guantanamo.”

The suit by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Sabri Benkahla could be the first of many challenging the secretive units, which drastically restrict outside contact.

Benkahla was transferred to the Communications Management Unit in Terre Haute in 2007, eight months after his conviction on perjury and obstruction of justice charges in a terrorism case.

Prosecutors contended that he lied to a grand jury about his contact with an alleged al-Qaida fundraiser and other terrorism suspects.

The Terre Haute unit was opened in 2006. Another CMU began operations last year at the federal prison in Marion, Ill.

The suit charges that the federal Bureau of Prisons violated Benkahla’s right to due process by pulling him out the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center with no transfer paperwork, no hearing, and no opportunity to contest his transfer beforehand. It also questions the legality of the CMUs.

Similar suits are being prepared by the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York and by attorneys representing other CMU inmates, calling the specialized units an unwarranted expansion of the war on terror.

Inmates housed in the CMUs are allowed only one 15-minute phone call a week and two 2-hour visits a month. While the CMU rules are more restrictive than those of most federal prisons, they are not as strict as the “supermax” facility in Florence, Colo., which houses terrorists such as unibomber Theodore Kaczynski. Inmates at the CMUs have access to computers, a library, a basketball court and a religious library.

Link to Article

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