Sunday, January 10, 2010

"Help, they are killing me"

This is a country in which torture, and the sense of supremacy and dehumanizations of others underlying it, encourages and is encouraged by this. The rest of the world sees this - the prisons, the immigration detention centers, the torture chambers. This country needs accountability if for nothing else the sake of healing itself.
...after two Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents returned him to the San Pedro detention center after dialysis, Mr. Rodriguez told a supervisor that the agents had made him stand up from the wheelchair and let him fall to the ground several times, laughing and insisting that he could walk.

“He asked why they were treating him that way,” the supervisor wrote in a report about the allegations. “They picked him up from the ground and harshly shoved him into the transporting vehicle. One used his feet to shove or kick him into the vehicle.”

...a Chinese computer engineer who died in April 2008, his spine broken and his body riddled with cancer that had gone undiagnosed in a Rhode Island detention center, where he had pleaded in vain for proper medical care. In that case, however, the investigation unfolded against a backdrop of news media coverage and a lawsuit by relatives.

Detention center guards had been caught on security cameras as they dragged Mr. Ng from his cell a week before his death, insisted that he could walk, and ridiculed him as they loaded him into a van. The agency, caught in the spotlight of public attention, stopped placing immigration detainees there.

And, in another article, the systemic, coldly administrative nature of the cruelty:
...the injured man, a Guinean tailor named Boubacar Bah. Mr. Bah, 52, had been left in an isolation cell without treatment for more than 13 hours before an ambulance was called.

While he lay in the hospital in a coma after emergency brain surgery, 10 agency managers in Washington and Newark conferred by telephone and e-mail about how to avoid the cost of his care and the likelihood of “increased scrutiny and/or media exposure,” according to a memo summarizing the discussion....

...In the agency’s confidential files was a jail video showing Mr. Bah face down in the medical unit, hands cuffed behind his back, just before medical personnel sent him to a disciplinary cell. The tape shows him crying out repeatedly in his native Fulani, “Help, they are killing me!”

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