Archive for April, 2007

wikipedia censorship:david hicks

April 4, 2007

Until recently there was a list of allegations of torture by david hicks on the wikipedia website.

Alleged Mistreatment

Professor of History Alfred W. McCoy writes[9] that:

* Initially held onboard USS Peleliu in the Arabian Sea, Hicks was “flown to a nearby land base for ten-hour torture sessions, shackled and blindfolded, which were marked by kicking, beatings with rifle butts, punching about the head and torso, death threats at gunpoint and anal penetration with objects ? all by Americans.”
* On July 9, 2003, Hicks was placed in a closet-sized, self-contained cell designed to deny its occupant all stimuli; this CIA sensory-deprivation torture technique continued for eight months (244 days). Hicks “experienced ‘extreme mood swings’ almost hourly” and began to consider suicide. By early 2004 American attorney Joshua Dratel, “found Hicks at the brink of despair […] obsessed with the minutiae of his surroundings, almost unable to comprehend the reality of his trial and the larger issues at stake.”
* August 5, 2004; an affidavit[24] by Hicks claims mistreatments. (The affidavit was made public on December 10, 2004.) The following are excerpts:
o Item 9. I have been in the company of other detainees who were beaten while blindfolded and handcuffed. At one point, a group of detainees, including myself, were subjected to being randomly hit over an eight hour session while handcuffed and blindfolded.
o Item 11. I have had my head rammed into asphalt several times (while blindfolded).
o Item 13. I have had medication – the identity of which was unknown to me, despite my requests for information – forced upon me against my will. I have been struck while under the influence of sedatives that were forced upon me by injection.
o Item 14. I have been forced to run in leg shackles that regularly ripped the skin off my ankles. Many other detainees experienced the same.
o Item 15. I have been deprived of sleep as a matter of policy.
o Item 16. I have witnessed the activities of the Internal Reaction Force (IRF), which consists of a squad of soldiers that enter a detainee’s cell and brutalize him with the aid of an attack dog. The IRF invasions were so common that the term to be “IRF’d” became part of the language of the detainees. I have seen detainees suffer serious injuries as a result of being IRF’ed. I have seen detainees IRF’ed while they were praying, or for refusing medication.
o Item 23. At one point during 2003 alone, my weight dropped by 30 pounds (and I was not overweight to start).
o Item27. As noted earlier, the above catalogue of abuse and mistreatment is not complete. It is but a summary of some of the abuse I suffered, witnessed, and/or heard about since my detention began. I would be able to provide further information and detail if the Court so desires, but a complete account would require a substantially longer document. In fact, at my request and due to the persistence of my lawyers, I have recently met with US military investigators conducting the probe into detainee abuse in Afghanistan. Also, this is not the first time I protested my mistreatment, since on several occasions – in Afghanistan, and later at Guantanamo Bay – I informed representatives of the International Red Cross of the abuse.
* In March 2006 the camp authorities moved all ten of the detainees who faced charges before the Guantanamo military commissions to solitary confinement. This move was described as a routine measure because of the detainee impending attendance at their tribunals. However The Jurist reported on August 23 2006 that Hicks remains in solitary, seven weeks following the US Supreme Court’s confirmation of a lower court’s ruling that the commissions were unconstitutional.[25]

According to The Jurist Hicks’ extended stay in solitary confinement has put his health at risk.
David Hicks’s cell and inset, the reading room with no books . The window is internal, facing onto a corridor.
David Hicks’s cell and inset, the reading room with no books [26]. The window is internal, facing onto a corridor[27].

Major Michael Mori described Hicks as one of the best-behaved detainees, and said his solitary confinement, for 23 hours a day, was unnecessary.[28]

Hicks’s father Terry Hicks has sought since 2002 to have his son brought to Australia for trial, but the Australian government has made no move to request the U.S. to release Hicks. Since 2003 the Australian government has been requesting that Hicks be brought to trial without further delay, and has extended him consular support.

According to Hicks in conversations with his father, he was abused by both Northern Alliance and U.S. soldiers. Nevertheless, the Australian Government has consistently accepted U.S. assurances that David Hicks and another Australian formerly held at Guantanamo Bay, Mamdouh Habib, have been treated in accordance with international law. This is in contrast to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations’ report of July 28, 2006, which criticizes the United States for its human rights policies and positions. According to the Center for Constitutional Rights: “The United States has become a country that openly flouts human rights laws, refuses to respond to questions about policy and practice, and worst of all commits abuses that would have been unimaginable under prior administrations.” [29]

U.S. military authorities are investigating the claims in the August 5, 2004 affidavit declaring that he had been tortured.

In June 2006, Moazzam Begg, a British man who had also been held at Guantanamo Bay but was released in 2005, claimed in his book Enemy Combatant: A British Muslim’s Journey to Guantanamo and Back that Hicks had abandoned his Islamic beliefs, and had been denounced by a fellow inmate, Uthman al-Harbi, for his lack of observance.[30] Begg also recounts Hicks talking about suicidal impulses during his periods in isolation at Camp Echo, “He often talked about wanting to smash his head ? against the metal of his cage and just end it all,”

This was removed after David Hicks in a plea bargain denied ever being mistreated in guantanamo bay.I think this is wrong and should be able to be read by all regardless of the situation.

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