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Old 06-19-2003, 03:27 AM   #1
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More than one year in detention without charge

Quote:
AI INDEX: AMR 51/085/2003 9 June 2003

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PRESS RELEASE


AI Index: AMR 51/085/2003 (Public)
News Service No: 137
9 June 2003

USA: One year in detention without charge
Today marks a full year in which Jose Padilla, a US citizen, has been held incommunicado in military custody in the USA as "enemy combatant" without charge, trial or access to his lawyer or family.


"His rights under international law are being fundamentally violated," Amnesty International said, reiterating its appeal to the US government to charge or release him and to allow him immediate access to his lawyer.

"This case represents an unprecedented suspension of fundamental rights of US citizens in US custody."

" While the US has designated others as 'enemy combatants' Padilla's case is particularly troubling as he was arrested on suspicion of a crime which would clearly place him within the jurisdiction of the ordinary criminal justice system. If his detention is upheld, the government could potentially hold any criminal suspect associated with an alleged terrorist group in military custody for an indefinite period, with none of the usual safeguards in the criminal system," Amnesty International said.

Jose Padilla was arrested at Chicago airport on 8 May 2002. He was originally held as a "material witness" by the Department of Justice during a grand jury probe into an alleged conspiracy to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" on a US city. However, on 9 June 2002, the US government abruptly transferred him to military custody and cut off all contact with his attorney.

The transfer to military custody was made on the basis of a one-page order by President Bush designating Padilla to be an "enemy combatant" closely associated with al-Qa'ida, whose detention it said was necessary to prevent him from aiding an attack on the United States. He has been held since that date in solitary confinement on a naval base in Charleston, South Carolina.

In December 2002, a US district court upheld the president's authority to detain enemy combatants, even if US citizens, with only limited right of judicial review. However, the court also ruled that Jose Padilla was entitled to consult with, and be visited by, his lawyer, in order to have some opportunity to present facts to rebut the government's evidence.

The US government appealed, arguing that granting Padilla access to an attorney would hinder its ongoing interrogation of him. Jose Padilla remains without access to his attorney pending the government's appeal.

Background
Last December, the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) described Padilla's detention as "arbitrary" in violation of articles 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which the US is a State Party. Article 9 of the Covenant affirms the right of everyone to protection from arbitrary detention and specifies that anyone arrested shall be informed promptly of the reasons for arrest and of any charges, and shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court to challenge the lawfulness of the detention. Article 14 states that all persons are equal before the courts and tribunals and sets out rights for a fair trial.

Incommunicado detention generally has been condemned by human rights bodies, including the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, as a human rights violation which can lead to other violations such as torture or ill-treatment or interrogation without due process safeguards. Access to a lawyer is an important safeguard to ensure that detainees' rights are protected, not only with regard to criminal or other proceedings, but also with regard to conditions of detention and a detainee's physical and mental health. Prolonged incommunicado detention and/or solitary confinement can in itself be a form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Jose Padilla is one of two US citizens currently detained indefinitely as "enemy combatants" in US military custody. The other is Yaser Esam Hamdi, who was arrested during the US-led war in Afghanistan in late 2001 (reportedly after surrendering to the Northern Alliance) and was originally detained in Guantánamo Bay before being transferred to the USA in April 2002 after the discovery of his US nationality. He too is held incommunicado without access to a lawyer or his family, a situation which has also been held to be arbitrary by the WGAD. His case is the subject of separate AI appeals, along with the cases of more than 660 non-US nationals held without charge or trial or access to attorneys in Guantánamo Bay.
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Old 06-19-2003, 08:46 AM   #2
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This is an absolute disgrace to America and a mockery of "justice". Apparently might makes right and when you are the biggest country with the biggest weapons you can be above the law. But I strongly feel that trampling on human rights like this will only come back to haunt us in the future. It erodes any moral credibility we may have had.
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Old 06-19-2003, 11:16 AM   #3
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I find this discusting, and would personally like to see Bush arrested and detained for his crimes against human rights.

But I'm interested in seeing the Bush supporters view on this. We've had a handful of threads on the subject of 'enemy combatants' and their human rights denied and I haven't seen the supporters chime in. Yet when asked they never find issues with this administration and don't understand the strong opposition against it.
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Old 06-19-2003, 11:51 AM   #4
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Well, Im not chiming in because I don't know enough about the situation. This one article doesn't give me enough info. This is the only thing I've read about it, and I can't exactly take Amnesty International as an absolutely unbiased source...
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Old 06-19-2003, 02:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
Well, Im not chiming in because I don't know enough about the situation. This one article doesn't give me enough info. This is the only thing I've read about it, and I can't exactly take Amnesty International as an absolutely unbiased source...
I agree that reading one article by Amnesty International is not going to give us the full insight. But the fact is that we have people detained, some as you can see over a year, that have no representation and may never see a trial. Now one thing that we can all agree on no matter what side we come from is that our system isn't perfect. It was obvious when going into the war that our intelligence was often found to be wrong and our daily court system has sent innocent people to death row. So how can we expect that everyone of these individuals are guilty. In the name or justice and morallity we need to give these individuals the same rights to representaion and trials than all other criminals. I just don't see how anyone can justify this. That's why I'm asking those who support this administration what they think about this. It doesn't matter if they believe this individual to be guilty or not- guilty that is not the issue here. Someone enlighten me.
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Old 06-19-2003, 09:43 PM   #6
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I certainly don't think Jose Padilla should be released based on what I know of his case, but he may be due legal representation and contact therewith. And I don't see why that hasn't been granted. I am not so sure that I will go that far though for the warriors who were captured in Afghanistan. That war is still going on and our soldiers are still taking shots over there.

I would hate it if Padilla or any of these folks were released and then went and committed an act of terror, even if it were to get revenge on the U.S. for detaining them or going to war in Irag or Afghanistan.

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Old 06-19-2003, 10:02 PM   #7
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I can't believe what I'm reading. Let this guy go?! You've got to be kidding! Do you think he's rehabilitated? Do you think that he's no danger to society? This guy is an Al Queda member who wanted to make a 'dirty bomb' and detonate it in a large, US city. Not only would such a device kill countless innocent people, but would also make a large area uninhabbital for decades. So image not being able to go to Times Square anymore for the rest of your life.

People, we are at war! The arrest of the truck driver today is proof that Al Queda is still in America and still wants to kill us.

We must never forget 9/11. I saw the towers burning that morning as I walked to school. I heard the sound of people hitting the ground. Imagine being up on the 108th floor and making a consious decision to jump to your death. I smelled the smoke that morning, and for about six months later. We have to stay tough in this war. And I'm sorry, but we as people who love our free lifestyles need to get tough and stamp terrorism out. And for our 'friends' in other countries, you need to be with us on this one. Because I can promise you one thing, if America loses the war against terrorism, Al Queda will set its sights on another western country and then another until they are all radical, Islamic states (remind you of anything from 1941?)

As far as I'm concerned, this guy should NEVER be let out of prison. It would be VERY, VERY irresponsible to let this dude out into the streets again.
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Old 06-20-2003, 12:34 AM   #8
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Bama, Wolf,

Who said anything about letting anyone go? I'm asking for due process, nothing else. Please read the posts before commenting.
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Old 06-20-2003, 09:41 AM   #9
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BonoVoxSuperstar:

Although I opined that Padilla should not be released, I also stated "...but he may be due legal representation and contact therewith. And I don't see why that hasn't been granted." I aSk the same of you: Please read the posts before commenting.

~U2Alabama
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Old 06-20-2003, 01:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama
BonoVoxSuperstar:

Although I opined that Padilla should not be released, I also stated "...but he may be due legal representation and contact therewith. And I don't see why that hasn't been granted." I aSk the same of you: Please read the posts before commenting.

~U2Alabama
No I understand. I saw that, but I was just wondering where the idea of releasing him even came about. I don't think anyone even suggested that, and I found it interesting that you even mentioned it, that's all.
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Old 06-21-2003, 05:06 PM   #11
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Everyone should get a legal representation, if you have trust in your legal system, i see no reason for denying legal representation.

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