Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. Our show is special because we make it our priority to go where the silence is. We put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2016. And, today a generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar. That means when you give $10 today, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? Please do your part today. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2016.

Your Donation: $

Justice Department Report Finds Immigrants with no Ties to Terror Suffered "Pattern of Physical and Verbal Abuse" in Detention Facilities

June 03, 2003

The report does not recommend bringing criminal charges.

A Justice Department report released yesterday concluded authorities violated the civil rights of hundreds of immigrants detained after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. At a federal prison where over 80 people were held, there was a "pattern of physical and verbal abuse."

The review by the Office of the Inspector General also found FBI officials made little attempt to distinguish between immigrants with possible ties to terrorism, and those who simply had the misfortune to be swept up in the investigation.

Without bail, detainees remained in jail for an average of nearly three months. They had to wait for weeks until they were allowed to make phone calls and find lawyers. Some were kept for months in cells illuminated 24 hours a day and were escorted in handcuffs, leg irons and waist chains.

In one Brooklyn detention facility, some detainees said guards slammed them into walls and taunted them.

  • Rebecca Thornton, Fellow at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. She is the spokesperson for a group of 20 organizations that met with the Office of the Inspector General when they were preparing their report.


Lawyers Committee for Human Rights