The Justice Department’s Inspector General is investigating two incidents involving Bureau of Prisons employees who allegedly abused federal prisoners who were Muslim in the second half of 2010 due to their choice of religion — and has referred 16 other incidents to BOP for further investigation.
Between July 1 and Dec. 31 of last year, the Inspector General processed 1,293 new civil rights or civil liberties complaints and found 1,072 of them did not fall within the OIG’s jurisdiction or did not warrant further investigation. Most of the incidents they did examine in the report revolve around the alleged abuse of Muslim prisoners.
One BOP inmate alleged that a correctional officer “showed bias against him because the inmate was no longer Muslim,” according to the report. “The inmate alleged that the correctional officer called him a ‘hypocrite’ and a ‘snitch.’ The inmate further alleged that the same correctional officer threatened his life and threatened to harm his family, and that the BOP staff tampered with his property. The OIG’s investigation of this matter is ongoing.”
Yet another Muslim inmate “alleged that a BOP correctional officer disposed of his Koran and personal letters in the trash, then lied in an incident report by stating that the inmate’s Koran and personal letters were confiscated and given to sheriff’s deputy escorts for disposition. A search of the trash by BOP officials confirmed that the Koran and letters had been thrown away and not given to the deputies as stated in the incident report. The OIG’s investigation of this matter is ongoing.”
One inmate complained that a BOP correctional officer told the inmate that “he had killed hundreds of Muslims and would love to kill complainant, too.” When he tried to report the alleged statements, he was threatened by another correctional officer. Both officers denied the complainant’s allegations, and two other BOP employees said they had not heard either subject make threatening or derogatory comments to the inmate. The case was closed.
Another inmate “alleged that he was restrained by his ankles and hands, and left in an empty room without a toilet, sink, shower, bed, food, or water for two days.” The inmate said a BOP correctional officer “told him he hated Muslims, forbade him from practicing his religion, and told him if he was hungry that he had a pork chop sandwich for him.” An investigation is ongoing.
The report, sent to Congress as required by the U.S. Patriot Act (which is scheduled for a renewal vote this afternoon), also reveals that the DOJ Inspector General is conducting another audit of the FBI’s management of terrorist watchlist nominations and encounters with watchlisted subjects, the use of national security letters (NSLs) and Section 215 orders for business records and the use of the material witness warrant statute in the national security context post Sept. 11.