profrv at nex.net.au
Wed May 12 02:22:37 PDT 1999
UNITED STATES: POLITICAL REPRESSION Aug 22 2002
U.S. Law Enforcement Acting With Impunity
The U.S. government's investigation of the September 11 attacks has been
marred by arbitrary detentions, due process violations, and secret arrests,
Human Rights Watch says in a new report. Some 1200 non-citizens have been
secretly arrested and incarcerated in connection with the September 11
investigation, although the government has not disclosed the exact number.
The vast majority are from Middle Eastern, South Asian, and North African
Having suffered no repurcussions from these abuses against Arabs in America
and having seen that it can disappear American citizens like Jose Padilla
without interference by the courts, U.S. law enforcement is increasing its
targeting of political activists. In Denver, the FBI kidnapped James Ujaama
and flew him to Virginia where the government is holding him as "a
potential witness in an ongoing grand jury probe of terrorism." Ujaama
operates StopAmerica.org, which contains dissenting views about U.S.
foreign policy. In Seattle earlier this month, police arrested Kwame
Garrett and Merciful Allah, both well-known critics of the Seattle Police.
In a phone call from jail, Garrett said that police officers rushed up to
them with weapons drawn, shouting, 'jaywalking!' and beat the two with
batons and sprayed them with pepper spray.
Attorney General John Ashcroft is preparing for mass detentions of
political dissidents. Plans were recently disclosed that the Justice
Department is preparing to build concentration camps to house U.S. citizens
labeled "enemy combatants." The Bush Administration asserts that the label
allows it to deny citizens basic rights including access to the courts,
even though the courts have consistently ruled against this.
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