Imprisoned Border Agents Treated Worse Than Gitmo Detainees
Washington, Oct 16, 2007 -
During today’s press conference, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher released a letter co-signed by 45 Members of Congress to Attorney General Nominee Michael Mukasey, requesting a “fair and unbiased review” of the questionable prosecution and prolonged solitary confinement of Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.
“Both officers are being held in Special Housing Units in medium security facilities and are confined to a single cell for 23 hours a day in conditions worse than those enjoyed by suspected terrorists in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility,” writes Rohrabacher. “Given the close personal relationships between Mr. Sutton, President Bush and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, numerous questions regarding the propriety of this prosecution remain unanswered by the Department of Justice.”
During the press conference, Rep. Rohrabacher pointed out benefits afforded to detainees housed in Camp 4 in Guantanamo Bay that Ramos and Compean are denied while incarcerated in solitary confinement. For example, Gitmo detainees are permitted up to nine hours of access to exercise and recreational facilities that include picnic tables, ping-pong, soccer and volleyball, as well as, permission to view Arabic TV programs, according to Department of Defense news releases. Ramos and Compean, on the other hand, are remanded to a single cell for 23 hours a day, without access to any of the privileges given to inmates in general population.
Congressman Rohrabacher discusses mistreatment of Border Agents Ramos & Compean in solitary confinement.
“Ramos & Compean put themselves on the line for us everyday, to protect us, and now we found out they are being treated worse than terrorists in Guantanamo Bay,” said Rohrabacher. “We would hope that Mr. Mukasey would at least commit himself to an honest review of what we consider to be a terrible miscarriage of justice…terrorists can shower daily, spend hours outdoors under the blue sky and Ramos and Compean are kept in a small cell, with no TV, nothing to occupy their time. This is torture and this Administration and the President know it.”
“If this new Attorney General is unwilling to look into this, he doesn’t deserve to be Attorney General,” Rohrabacher proclaimed.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) also participated in today’s press conference. Ramos and Compean have been in solitary confinement for 10 months. Their case is scheduled to be heard before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans the week of December 3, 2007.
Links to DoD News Stories Discussing GITMO Detainee privileges