tisdag 8 juli 2014

Tortyrens normaliserade kultur - 80 000 fångar hålls isolerade i årtal i amerikanska fängelser

Man kan enkelt se tillståndet på ett samhälle, när man ser hur det behandlar sina fångar. Guantanamo var ingen tillfällighet utan bara en logisk fortsättning på amerikansk fångvård. Tortyr är den normaliserade kulturen idag. 80 000 fångar hålls idag isolerade i årtal i USA...

Torture facilities: ‘Thousands of US prisoners held in solitary confinements for years at a time’

RT 2014-05-28
Some 80 thousand people in the US are held in solitary confinement for years at a time, which is nothing short of torture. The US prison system needs to come under public scrutiny, Alexis Agathocleous from the Center for Constitutional Rights told RT.

RT: California has the largest prison population in the US. Can you please describe the inhumane conditions of some of these prisoners?

Alexis Agathocleous: We at the Center for Constitutional Rights are engaged in a federal civil rights law right now, challenging California’s use of solitary confinement. Solitary confinement in California outpaces pretty much every other state in the country.

They are warehousing thousands of prisoners in solitary confinements, and indeed there is just no other state in the country which consistently retains so many prisoners in solitary confinement for such incredibly lengthy periods of time.

Our clients are currently housed at what is called “a special housing unit in Pelican Bay.” Pelican Bay is a California prison, very far north in California.

- And the plaintiffs in our lawsuit have been isolated in solitary confinement at this unit between 12 and 23 years. 

And indeed many of them have been sent to Pelican Bay from other solitary confinement units.

Some of them have been in solitary confinement up to 25 years, some of them – more than 30 years. What we do know is that there are approximately 500 prisoners at the Pelican Bay facility alone, who have spent at least a decade in solitary confinement. These are really shocking numbers of people who have been warehoused in these conditions, and these are unparalleled periods of time, which we maintain constitutes torture.

RT: Can you describe the 'SHU' (Security housing units) in Pelican Bay?

AA: Certainly. The prisoners at Pelican Bay languish in cramped concrete windowless cells for 22.5-24 hours a day completely alone. No natural light, no face-to-face interaction with any other human beings.

- Their food is delivered to them through a metal slot in their door by a correctional officer, that food is frequently cold, rotten, lacking in nutritional value. 

As I said, they have no face-to-face interaction with other human beings, only through the door with correctional officers, and when they are delivered in chains to a barren solid concrete cell that is known as a "dog run" extensively for an hour a day to exercise on their own.

There is no equipment apart from a bar and a single board. And they are taken there in chains.

They are denied any telephone calls home, so they have no phone calls with their families.

Social visits are strictly non-contact, which means that when a family member visits you are not allowed to hug hello, shake hands, anything like that.

So it is an incredibly isolating experience. Fundamentally, there is no normal communication with even other prisoners, the only way to communicate with another prisoner is to yell loud enough to be heard through pipes or through the wall, but any communication with another prisoner can be taken as evidence of gang activity.

If the other prisoner is a validated member of a gang, it can be used as a rationale to keep you in in solitary confinement even longer. In other words, these are incredibly harsh conditions that have been imposed for decades at a time.

RT: Many human rights activists have been voicing their concerns on the treatment of inmates. Has there been any progress?

AA: I think across the country there is a mounting consciousness about the ill effects of solitary confinement. There is a growing understanding of the grave psychological effect.

- There is a consensus within social science that prolonged solitary confinement causes a significant danger of descending into irreversible mental illness and also results in a constellation of symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, paranoid thoughts, hallucinations. 

So there is a broad understanding of the impact of this. As a result, we are seeing some positive developments in the country.

The first Congressional hearing on solitary confinements took place last summer and signaled that the federal government is fundamentally rethinking its use of solitary confinement in federal facilities. Meanwhile, various states around the country have made voluntary changes to reduce the number of people that are held solitary confinement with very positive results. So states like Maryland and Mississippi have reduced the number of people in solitary confinement without threatening institutional security.

In California we are litigating this lawsuit on behalf of the prisoners at Pelican Bay, and we intend to show in this lawsuit that placing prisoners in solitary confinement for such long periods of time places prisoners at an unacceptable risk of psychological harm, and really make that clear through constitutional challenges to this practice.

RT: A great number of prisoners are on a 23-hour lockdown. Prison officials claim that this should not be considered as solitary confinement. Can you comment on this statement?

AA: I think the argument that letting somebody out of a cell for an hour a day to go exercise by themselves in another cell is extreme semantics. If you look at any definition of solitary confinement under international law, under international human rights standards, or any sort of working use of solitary confinement within case law, it is acknowledged that there is no such thing as pure solitary confinement where a person is locked in 4 walls and never lays eyes on another human being.

That simply does not happen. But the working definition of solitary confinement is when you are confined in your cell for more than 22 hours a day without meaningful human contact. And that is most certainly what we are seeing in California.

RT: Recently there was a prisoner hunger strike. Can you describe why the prisoners are protesting and if the strike achieved any changes?
Läs fortsättningen:

Läs hela studien som publicerats i den amerikanska tidskriften General Archives of Psychiatry:

USA torterar sina fångar - många interner har hållits isolerade i över 20 år

Över 30 000 fångar hungerstrejkar under juil 2013 i Kalifornien, USA. Hungerstrejken sker bl.a. som protest mot att fångar hålls issolerade i årtal i små burar utan någon egentlig kontakt med omvärlden...http://undermattans.blogspot.se/2013/07/usa-torterar-sina-fangar-manga-interner.html

AVSLÖJAT: USA sätter fler i fängelse än KINA och IRAN!

Varför avslöjar Ankdammsmedia sällan några fakta om den lönsamma privatiserade fångvården i USA..? Amerika är ju idag Sveriges förebild som de styrande alltid gör sitt yttersta för att kopiera och lyda - "THE LAND OF THE FREE"? ...Tror inte det. - Svaret finns här och det är inte vackert...

72 Självmord i svenska häkten under 14 år - Sverige, världens bästa land även på tortyr?

Tortyr och självmord är vanligt i svenska häkten
53 Människor har begått självmord i svenska häkten de senaste 10 åren, 72 de senaste 14 åren. Sverige är ju enligt Sverige alltid världens bästa land, men är  Sverige även världens bästa land på Tortyr? 
Tortyrens normaliserade kultur - 80 000 fångar hålls isolerade i årtal i amerikanska fängelser

1 kommentar:

  1. -4 Things You Should Know About Mass Incarceration-

    by DANIEL J. D'AMICO May 01 2014

    It's now common knowledge: The United States is the world's leading nation when it comes to imprisonment.

    With an estimated 1,570,400 inmates by the end of 2012—and an incarceration rate of 716 prisoners per 100,000 citizens—the United States holds more human beings inside cages, on net and per capita, than any other country around the globe (and throughout history).

    In general, we build more prisons, we spend more money on prisons, we employ more prison workers, and we utilize imprisonment for a wider variety of behaviors than anyone else.

    Nations like China and Russia likely use more corporal punishment and execute more people. Removing that context from their incarceration rates might make them look less punitive than they really are.

    Still, it is revealing that only totalitarian regimes, past and present, are serious contenders with the "land of the free” when it comes to the business of incarceration.

    *Today's total American prison population exceeds the estimated amount of citizens detained within the Gulag system under the former Soviet Union.

    If we include those sentenced but not yet incarcerated, as well as those released upon probation and parole, there are more young black men embroiled in the American criminal justice system than were estimated to be enslaved in America circa 1850.

    These statistics are not to say that the United States is totalitarian, or based on chattel labor. Instead, these numbers emphasize that, insofar as despotism requires enforcement, our own government is more than capable of imposing serious and pervasive social control.





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