The warden and guards at a federal prison discriminated and retaliated against
Muslim inmates, the Justice Department's inspector general said yesterday in a
report that also detailed allegations of mistreatment of Muslims at other U.S.
In one instance at the unidentified federal prison, the warden "unjustly
and inappropriately" ordered an inmate transferred to special housing similar
to solitary confinement for more than four months, Inspector General Glenn A.
Fine said. The move came five days after the inmate talked to Fine's investigators.
Federal prosecutors declined to pursue criminal charges against the warden,
and the incident was referred to the federal Bureau of Prisons, he said.
Treatment of Muslims was part of a semiannual report that Fine produces on
possible civil rights or civil liberties violations by the Justice Department.
Fine also noted that the federal prison officials have yet to discipline anyone
for abuse more than a year after he documented the mistreatment of Arabs and
Muslims detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., after
the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
In addition, prison officials told the inspector general they discovered more
videotapes of the detainees at the Brooklyn facility, as well as of meetings
between detainees and their attorneys. Previously disclosed tapes helped confirm
that guards slammed detainees against walls, twisted their arms and conducted
unnecessary strip searches. The prisons bureau and Fine are investigating why
the other tapes were not given to them sooner.
Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Traci Billingsley said she had not seen Fine's
report. "We take all allegations of staff misconduct very seriously, and
all are thoroughly investigated by BOP's office of internal affairs," she