10-18-2012, 08:58 PM #1
"Solitary confinement in Iran nearly broke me. Then I went inside America's prisons."
Lengthy and depressing: so why should you read it? Possibly to discover things you don't want being done in your name.
Plus it's very interesting.
Solitary in Iran Nearly Broke Me. Then I Went Inside America's Prisons. (motherjones.com)
We throw thousands of men in the hole for the books they read, the company they keep, the beliefs they hold. Here's why.
"So when you're in Iran and in solitary confinement," asks my guide, Lieutenant Chris Acosta, "was it different?" His tone makes clear that he believes an Iranian prison to be a bad place.
He's right about that. After being apprehended on the Iran-Iraq border, Sarah Shourd, Josh Fattal, and I were held in Evin Prison's isolation ward for political prisoners. Sarah remained there for 13 months, Josh and I for 26 months. We were held incommunicado. We never knew when, or if, we would get out. We didn't go to trial for two years. When we did we had no way to speak to a lawyer and no means of contesting the charges against us, which included espionage. The alleged evidence the court held was "confidential."
What I want to tell Acosta is that no part of my experience—not the uncertainty of when I would be free again, not the tortured screams of other prisoners—was worse than the four months I spent in solitary confinement. What would he say if I told him I needed human contact so badly that I woke every morning hoping to be interrogated? Would he believe that I once yearned to be sat down in a padded, soundproof room, blindfolded, and questioned, just so I could talk to somebody?
From The New Yorker, 2009:
The United States holds tens of thousands of inmates in long-term solitary confinement. Is this torture?
“It’s an awful thing, solitary,” John McCain wrote of his five and a half years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam—more than two years of it spent in isolation in a fifteen-by-fifteen-foot cell, unable to communicate with other P.O.W.s except by tap code, secreted notes, or by speaking into an enamel cup pressed against the wall. “It crushes your spirit and weakens your resistance more effectively than any other form of mistreatment.” And this comes from a man who was beaten regularly; denied adequate medical treatment for two broken arms, a broken leg, and chronic dysentery; and tortured to the point of having an arm broken again. A U.S. military study of almost a hundred and fifty naval aviators returned from imprisonment in Vietnam, many of whom were treated even worse than McCain, reported that they found social isolation to be as torturous and agonizing as any physical abuse they suffered.
10-19-2012, 03:27 PM #2
Brought up a lot of conflicting emotions in me. At times I felt really bad for the inmates and at other times it was like, they shouldn't have committed the crime that got them imprisoned in the first place.
thanks for sharing
10-19-2012, 07:01 PM #3Former Member
- Join Date
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I watched a documentary a while back on SuperMax. It was really sad, some of the prisoners were in their for relatively minor crimes like computer hacking.
Anyway one part that I remember, they would allow the prisoners library books but would check them after use, apparently they were so incredibly desperate for interaction that they would try to slip notes into the bindings of the books hoping it would go to another prisoner that would eventually write back.
I had a friend that was in an Iranian prison for a while (visited with him and his family over there before he went, I like Iran) and he said the prisons were harsh. Japanese prisons are very harsh too. Both countries have very low crime rates.
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