Date/Time: 10/06/2003 12:00 am
In this issue of Rights Alert!
Department of Justice Criticized by its Inspector General
Yesterday, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice issued a report that harshly criticizes the Department’s handling of immigrant detainees after September 11th. The 198-page report found “significant problems” in the policies and procedures implemented around the detentions, including widespread failure to notify detainees of the grounds for their incarceration, unwritten policies implemented by the FBI to keep them in custody in a policy of “innocent until proven guilty,” and a failure to release innocent detainees in a timely fashion.
These findings substantiate claims made by CCR in Turkmen v. Ashcroft, and detail patterns of abuse from the highest levels of the Justice Department to the lowest levels of correctional supervision. Among them, troublingly, is evidence that the FBI failed to respond to concerns raised by INS authorities about the legality of detentions – the claim at the heart of our case. The report stops short of the conclusion that long, indefinite detentions of prisoners without charge is a violation of the Constitution – the most important step to ensuring that such unfounded attacks on the rights of innocent immigrants does not happen again. It is, however, an important step forward in re-examining actions that have no clear precedent save the mass detention of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
For more information on the report, please click here.
For information about Turkmen v. Ashcroft, including a copy of the complaint, please visit www.ccr-ny.org website
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