Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Padilla: cruel and inhuman

If you have ever been surrounded by people who are aggressive, then found yourself arrested, handcuffed, and marched into detention, you'll know how it is to be and feel so powerless and vulnerable.

But then also to be kept in solitary isolation . . . and frequently deprived of the ability to see or to hear? That has to qualify as cruel and inhuman treatment:

“Today is May 21,” a naval official declared to a camera videotaping the event. “Right now we’re ready to do a root canal treatment on Jose Padilla, our enemy combatant.”
Several guards in camouflage and riot gear approached cell No. 103. They unlocked a rectangular panel at the bottom of the door and Mr. Padilla’s bare feet slid through, eerily disembodied. As one guard held down a foot with his black boot, the others shackled Mr. Padilla’s legs. Next, his hands emerged through another hole to be manacled.
Wordlessly, the guards, pushing into the cell, chained Mr. Padilla’s cuffed hands to a metal belt. Briefly, his expressionless eyes met the camera before he lowered his head submissively in expectation of what came next: noise-blocking headphones over his ears and blacked-out goggles over his eyes. Then the guards, whose faces were hidden behind plastic visors, marched their masked, clanking prisoner down the hall to his root canal.

How to demolish a human being: NYT

What to do? One place to start is support Amnesty International (please click on AI logo on right-hand side). Thank you.

No comments: