The spectre of Bradley Manning lying naked and alone in a tiny cell at the Quantico Marine Base, less than 50 miles from Washington, DC, conjures up images of an American Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib, where isolation and deprivation have been raised to the level of torture.
In fact, the accused Wikileaker, now in his tenth month of solitary confinement, is far from alone in his plight. Every day in the US, tens of thousands of prisoners languish in “the hole”.
A few of them are prison murderers or rapists who present a threat to others. Far more have committed minor disciplinary infractions within prison or otherwise run afoul of corrections staff. Many of them suffer from mental illness, and are isolated for want of needed treatment; others are children, segregated for their own “protection”; a growing number are elderly and have spent half their lives or more in utter solitude.
No one knows for sure what their true numbers are. Many states, as well as the federal government, flatly declare that solitary confinement does not exist in their prison systems. As for their euphemistically named “Secure Housing Units” or “Special Management Units”, most states do not report occupancy data, nor do wardens report on the inmates sent to “administrative segregation”.
Prosecutor, judge and jury
By common estimate, more than 20,000 inmates are held in supermax prisons, which by definition isolate their prisoners. Perhaps 50,000 to 80,000 more are in solitary confinement on any given day in other prisons and local jails, many of them within sight of communities where Americans go about their everyday lives.
via Cruel and usual: US solitary confinement – Features – Al Jazeera English.
Anti-Cuts Campaigners Plan ‘Carnival of Civil Disobedience’
Student groups and tax avoidance protesters will stage occupations to coincide with TUC demonstration on 26 March
by Matthew Taylor
Anti-cuts campaigners are planning a wave of sit-ins, occupations and “people’s assemblies” to coincide with this month’s TUC demonstration, in a “carnival of civil disobedience” designed to highlight opposition to the government’s programme of cuts.
Anti-cuts protesters in Birmingham last year. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) Student activists, tax avoidance campaigners and anti-capitalist groups say they plan to occupy some of the capital’s “great buildings”, close down scores of high street stores and stage a 24-hour occupation of Hyde Park.
“This is going to be a really important day,” said Anna Walker of the campai
via Anti-Cuts Campaigners Plan ‘Carnival of Civil Disobedience’ | Common Dreams.
– Activists say they have occupied a London mansion owned by a son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
A group calling itself Topple the Tyrants said it entered the house Wednesday. Spokesman Montgomery Jones says the squatters, who are not Libyan, will stay “until this property can be returned to the Libyan people.”
Police say officers are monitoring the situation and no arrests had been made.
The eight-bedroom Georgian-style house with swimming-pool and sauna is reportedly owned by Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, who had put it on the market for more than 10 million pounds ($16 million). It was withdrawn from sale last month.
The British government has seized more than $3.3 billion in assets belonging to the Gadhafi family and associates, as part of sanctions.
BEIRUT, Mar 1, 2011 (IPS) – The uprisings sweeping the Arab world have been provoked by long injustice, low income, police brutality, and lack of social security. While the world looks at this, the suffering of up to three million maids across the Arab world remains wrapped in silence.
Victims of abuse, confinement and rape, migrant domestic workers are often invisible because they suffer in places that remain hidden to the public eye, mostly private homes.
Speaking to IPS, a freelance Indonesian domestic worker in Jordan says, “If you go to the Indonesian embassy in Jordan you will see hundreds of wom
via Arab Uprising Bypasses Domestic Slaves – IPS ipsnews.net.
Brutal Crackdown in Belarus
By Pavol Stracansky
PRAGUE, Feb 9, 2011 (IPS) – Repressions in Europe’s last dictatorship show no signs of abating despite EU sanctions and international condemnation. International rights watchdogs warn that human rights abuses in Belarus have reached a “new low”, and activists say that no one appears safe from Alexander Lukashenka’s brutal crackdowns in the wake of his controversial re-election as president.