wikileaks: mentally ill canadian citizen held in bagram prison for 18 months, and counting

This morning CBC News reports that WikiLeaks has exposed that a Canadian is being held at the notorious Bagram prison, the US-run torture camp and holding tank for Afghans who were either trying to defend their country from foreign invaders or were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The man, Khaled Samy Abdallah Ismail, is mentally ill. A citizen of both Canada and Egypt, he has been imprisoned in Bagram for 18 months. There is no evidence against him.

Omar Khadr, then, is not the only Canadian being held in deplorable indefinite detention. And the name Ismail gets added to the long and growing list of Canadian citizens that the Harper government has abandoned. As David Eaves says:
If you have the wrong colour skin, the wrong beliefs, if you do something that the Canadian government decides it doesn't approve of, or if you are simply caught in the wrong place at the wrong time... you are on your own.
Read the CBC story on Ismail here.

See the Council of Canadians summary of how the Harper government has failed to protect Canadian citizens.

1 comment:

allan said...

Speaking of Bagram, Glenn Greenwald reports the US is soliciting bids for the construction of a massive new prison in Bagram:

In the U.S., budgetary constraints are so severe that entire grades are being eliminated, the use of street lights restricted, and the most basic services abolished for the nation's neediest. But the U.S. proposes to spend up to $100 million on a sprawling new prison in Afghanistan. ...

One last point: recall how many people insisted that the killing of Osama bin Laden would lead to a drawdown in the War on Terror generally and the war in Afghanistan specifically. Since then -- in just four months since bin Laden's corpse was dumped into the ocean -- the U.S. has done the following: renewed the Patriot Act for four years with no reforms; significantly escalated drone attacks in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan; tried to assassinate U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki with no due process; indicted a 24-year-old Muslim for "material support for Terrorism" for uploading an anti-American YouTube clip after he talked to the son of a Terrorist leader; pressured Iraq to keep U.S. troops in that country; argued that it has the virtually unlimited right to kill anyone it wants anywhere in the world; and now finalized plans to build a sprawling new prison in Afghanistan. If that's winding things down, I sure would hate to see what a redoubling of the American commitment to Endless War looks like.