Some tapes had conversations
between lawyers and clients
The US Justice Department's inspector-general has said a federal detention centre
in New York City failed to turn over hundreds of videotapes to investigators probing
the treatment of detainees taken into custody after the September 11 attacks.
The US Bureau of Prisons discovered the tapes in February, 14 months after
the inspector-general found that staff members had abused some detainees at
the Metropolitan Detention Centre.
Some tapes from the centre contained conversations between lawyers and their
clients, inspector-general Glenn Fine said on Monday in a report to Congress.
Fine is looking into the detention centre's failure to produce the tapes during
Lawyers for the Legal Aid Society are suing detention centre officers for secretly
videotaping their conversations.
The lawyers say they were assured by the prison that the attorneys' conversations
with their clients were not being taped, even though video cameras were on the
Evidence from the hundreds of tapes was incorporated into the Bureau of Prisons'
disciplinary review of the staff's treatment of detainees.
Among complaints the inspector-general is looking into at federal prisons regarding
people taken into custody after the 11 September 2001 attacks, is a case where
while an inmate was at prayer, an assistant warden allegedly entered his cell
and ordered a corrections officer to confiscate his prayer rug and Quran and
to dispose of the items in a rubbish incinerator.
A Bureau of Prisons inmate alleged that a corrections officer ordered him to
drop his Quran on the floor outside his cell. The officer is said to have kicked
the Quran and walked away.