Former Prisoner at Secretive CMU Tells the Story of One Man Still There

by Will Potter on May 11, 2010

in Terrorism Court Cases,Terrorism Prisoners

Andy Stepanian is one of the SHAC 7 and a former prisoner at one of the secretive prison facilities called Communications Management Units. He has a powerful new article at the Huffington Post telling the story of his time there:

When it was hard for me to find vegan food in prison Abu-Sayyaf used to bring food to the bars at the front of my jail cell. He knew I was a strict vegan and that I abstained from the consumption of all animal products. He used to read all the ingredients on packages and even then double check with me if the food was something that would fit my diet. I am sure that in the government’s eyes they assume that Abu-Sayyaf wanted something from me in return, but in reality Abu-Sayyaf only wanted to make sure that I was safe, healthy, well fed, and taken care of.

Before Abu-Sayyaf was an inmate in a secretive US political prison called a “Communications Management Unit” Abu-Sayyaf was a computer programmer for a software company in Florida…

There are 70 other men in situations like Abu-Sayyaf’s split between the populace at the Marion CMU facility and a second CMU facility in Terre Haute, Indiana. These are 70 stories of doctors allegedly breaching economic sanctions to deliver penicillin and insulin to children in need, or anti-war tax protestors, not stories of car bombers, hijackers, or the incidents that most of us have come to identify as terror-related. These are 70 stories that our government is ashamed of, and hopes to keep tucked away within these restrictive, secretive, purely political prisons, out of the reach of the media, out of the reach of visitors, away from the touch of their families and children, hampered by vetted mail, a lack of telephone communication, and — worst of all — severed from constitutionally protected rights of due process.

Please share this Huffington Post article on Facebook and Twitter, and then submit a comment against the government’s proposal to make these political prisons permanent. For background on the proposal: Government Acknowledges Secretive Prisons for “Domestic Terrorists,” Proposes Making Them Permanent.

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