Liberal Grace

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Why we need habeas corpus more than ever.

$5,000 guarantees that many perfectly innocent people will be turned in for the cash.

In an economy where the average worker earns a dollar a day, this kind of bounty is going to swamp prisons with people screwed by their neighbors for the money. How many Americans might turn in their neighbors for $550,000 in cash which is the rough equivalent? Especially, if the person just "disappeared?"

Pakistan accused of terror abductions

London: Pakistan has abducted hundreds of people as part of the US-led war on terror, often secretly holding them for months while they are interrogated, the human rights group Amnesty International said on Friday.

Some suspects were held in Pakistani interrogation centres, but many were handed over to US custody and held in Guantanamo Bay, Bagram Airbase or other secret detention facilities, the group said in a report on "enforced disappearances in the war on terror".

"The road to Guantánamo very literally starts in Pakistan," said Claudio Cordone, Senior Director of Research at Amnesty International.

"Hundreds of people have been picked up in mass arrests, many have been sold to the USA as 'terrorists' simply on the word of their captor, and hundreds have been transferred to Guantánamo Bay, Bagram Airbase or secret detention centres run by the USA."

In many cases, US agents paid a bounty of $5,000 to those, usually intelligence agents, who simply declared people terrorists, seized them and handed them over for interrogation with no legal process, Amnesty said.

"Enforced disappearances were almost unheard of in Pakistan before the start of the US-led war on terror - now they are a growing phenomenon, spreading beyond terror suspects," Amnesty researcher Angelika Pathak said.

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