Thursday, July 14, 2011

Does America Torture Americans? Yes, Especially Native Americans.

65 year-old Native American activist Leonard Peltier, who has been in prison for more than 35 years on trumped charges of killing two FBI agents in 1975, has been placed in solitary confinement for two minor infractions, according to Democracy Now. Peltier has long maintained his innocence and is a political prisoner, being punished for his support and activism within the American Indian Movement (see here for more).

Meanwhile, prisoners in California have entered the third week of a hunger strike against deplorable living conditions. The strike began at Pelican Bay, where many of the state’s most violent prisoners live in SHUs (Security Housing Units) often confined for 23 or more hours a day, in isolation. Prisoners in the SHU are placed in 6-by-10 foot isolation cells. The strikers are calling for an end to the isolation units and the “debriefings” in which prisoners are subjected to lengthy interrogations to determine if they are in gangs. Several of the strikers’ health has deteriorated to critical levels, the San Francisco Chronicle reported today.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for bringing this to light for so many to learn and understand.

    Dr. Corey Weinstein, a private correctional medical consultant and human rights investigator with 40 years experience providing health care to CA prisoners, explains:

    “The strikers’ claims of substandard and prejudicial medical care at Pelican Bay are certainly true. As well the medical staff refuses to take on their responsibilities as health professionals to advocate for their patients in matters of daily life related to food, nutrition, exercise and mental hygiene. Those who should be providing care act the jailer instead. Given my long history of working with California prisoners, I have grave doubts about the Department of Corrections’ ability to adequately carry out their own guidelines and protocols even during this urgent and public moment. Reports such as prisoners with very low blood sugar levels and lack of urination for 3 days should not be coming from the prison. These are men who require hospital care under prison protocols. We should ask why do they remain at the prison?”