Sunday, July 30, 2006

Camp 6: permanent GTMO

Brought to you by Halliburton. Seriously:
Camp 6, a state-of-the-art maximum-security jail built by a Halliburton subsidiary, will be able to hold 200 prisoners. Commander Robert Durand, a spokesman for Joint Task Force Guantanamo, said the $30m, two-storey block was due to open at the end of September.
So who are these "worst of the worst" still languishing in GTMO? The Independent reminds us:
Of all the prisoners ever held at Guatanamo since it was established in January 2002, only 10 have been formally charged. An investigation earlier this year by New Jersey's Seton Hall University showed that, based on the military's own documents, 55 per cent of prisoners are not alleged to have committed any hostile acts against the US, and 40 per cent are not accused of affiliation with al-Qa'ida.
The same documents suggested only 8 per cent of prisoners are accused of fighting for a terrorist group, and that 86 per cent were captured by the Northern Alliance or Pakistani authorities "at a time when the US offered large bounties for the capture of suspected terrorists".
And what about "Guantanamo North," up in Kingston? Well, it's housing the remaining three men held under so-called Security Certificates. You might recall that those men went on hunger-strike for a month after transferring from Toronto West Det. Centre. Aside from severe curtailments of their access to family etc., mini-GTMO is basically an overheated high-school portable:
There is no air conditioning in the portable trailers that comprise the $3.2-million, high-security six-cell complex, according to an affidavit, which pushes temperatures to between 30 C and 32 C on days where the mercury outside is not nearly that high.
''This was entirely foreseeable, putting a trailer in the middle of a parking lot in the middle of summer,'' lawyer John Norris told the court.
''The men were transferred to a detention centre that was ready in some respects the fences were up and the locks were on the doors. But there have been a number of growing pains, to put it mildly.''
Jaballah and his two fellow inmates also being held on security certificates Syrian Hassan Almrei and Egyptian Mohamed Mahjoub recently ended a month-long hunger strike over their conditions of detention.
Jaballah complained that since moving to Kingston he has been restricted to one hour per day speaking with his family by phone.
Each time he makes a phone call, the affidavit says Jaballah has to fill out a form that goes up a chain of command. This can take up to three hours.
Then, unlike the Toronto jail where he could dial pre-approved numbers on his own, a guard has to come and put the call through for him.
Jaballah said he's been thwarted from accessing the media. His newspapers are never delivered and he's not allowed to contact journalists directly.

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