SEPT. 11 DETAINEES TO FILE FEDERAL LAWSUIT
Associated Press, 5/3/04
NEW YORK- Two Middle Eastern immigrants will file a federal lawsuit
Monday alleging they were locked in solitary confinement, beaten and
verbally abused at a Brooklyn detention center following the Sept. 11
The lawsuit will be filed by Javaid Iqbal, a former cable technician
who lived on Long Island, and Ehab Elmaghraby, a former restaurateur
who lived in Queens. The men allege that federal agents apprehended
them on suspicion of terrorist ties and held them for months at the
Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, which was cited for brutal
treatment of detainees in a report last year by the Justice
Department Inspector General.
Iqbal and Elmaghraby, both 37, allege they were shackled, shoved into
walls, punched and called "Muslim bastards" and other epithets. They
also say they were kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day
and denied adequate meals and medical care, The New York Times
"I was in life and I went to hell," Elmaghraby told the Times.
The men were eventually cleared of terrorist ties but were deported
to their homelands after pleading guilty to minor federal criminal
charges. Iqbal, who admitted having false papers and bogus checks,
now lives in Pakistan; Elmaghraby, who pleaded guilty to credit card
fraud, lives in Egypt.
The Times did not specify what damages the lawsuit would seek...
2 MEN CHARGE ABUSE IN ARRESTS AFTER 9/11 TERROR ATTACK
Nina Bernstein, New York Times, 5/3/04
Before the World Trade Center attack, Javaid Iqbal was a Pakistani
immigrant proud to be known as "the cable guy" to customers on Long
Island, where he had lived for a decade and married an American. Ehab
Elmaghraby, an Egyptian, had a weekend flea market stand at Aqueduct
Raceway and a restaurant near Times Square where friendly police
officers would joke, "Where's my shish kebab?"
But within weeks of Sept. 11, 2001, both had been picked up by
federal agents in an anti-terror sweep. For 23 hours a day, they were
locked in solitary confinement in the harsh maximum-security unit of
a federal detention center in Brooklyn -- the one cited by the
Justice Department's inspector general last year for widespread
physical abuse of its detainees.
The inspector general mentioned no specific names and cases, but now,
in a federal lawsuit to be filed today and in telephone interviews
from Pakistan and Egypt, the former cable technician and the former
restaurateur have provided the most detailed personal accounts yet of
the unit's brutality and the first to accuse specific corrections
officers and wardens of abuse. The accusations are similar to those
now being made against military officers guarding prisoners in Iraq.
The lawsuit charges that the men were repeatedly slammed into walls
and dragged across the floor while shackled and manacled, kicked and
punched until they bled, cursed as "terrorists" and "Muslim
bastards," and subjected to multiple unnecessary body-cavity
searches, including one during which correction officers inserted a
flashlight into Mr. Elmaghraby's rectum, making him bleed.
At that point, the papers charge, he was confined without blankets,
mattress or toilet paper to a tiny cell kept lighted 24 hours a day,
and was denied adequate medical care or communication with his public
defender. He said his attempts to pray or sleep were disrupted by
guards banging on his door...
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