The units have been given nicknames like “Little Gitmo” and “Guantanamo North” because of the glaring ethnic and racial disparity of inmates designated to these units. 62% of inmates designated to the CMUs are Muslim men — a fact that both the ACLU & The Center For Constitutional Rights (CCR) highlight in their pending lawsuits against the prisons. Labeled by the CCR as an “experiment in social isolation” these institutions specifically isolate and silence inmates whose cases involve abundant press attention or possible prosecutorial misconduct, like that of the case against the Albany, NY Imam, Yassin Aref.
Stewart highlights the case against Aref in his feature, providing intimate details that the public has never seen before and that the federal government has made efforts to bury. The sting employed to entrap Aref was a layered mess of corrupt government informants, uninformed innocent merchants, and high tech spying. The three year operation to entrap Aref started with a hunch provided by military intel that was later redacted because it was grossly incorrect. However once the ball started rolling it did not stop, and Aref now sits in federal prison serving a 15 year sentence for allegedly providing material support for a terror organization he knew nothing of…
“Before Abu-Sayyaf was an inmate in a secretive US political prison called a ‘Communications Management Unit’ Abu-Sayyaf was a computer programmer for a software company in Florida. Abu-Sayyaf was an immigrant, he attained rights as a US citizen, he gave back to his community, to his co-workers, he generously donated to UNICEF, and he gave much of what he had to people outside of this country, specifically to children in Bosnia…”
BOP DOCKET #1148-P COMMUNICATION MANAGEMENT UNITS Rules Unit, Office of General Counsel Bureau of Prisons 320 First Street, NW. Washington, DC 20534
Please consider submitting your comments by June 2, 2010* and sending The Center for Constitutional Rights a copy of your comments as we’re hoping to collect these pieces to illustrate the depth of collective public outcry over the creation of the CMUs.
*The official deadline for comments is June 7, 2010.