Nadler Tours Site of 9/11 Detainee Abuses

Jul 30, 2003

New York City - Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, today joined the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, in touring the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn following reports of abuses of detainees held at the Center.

"The Judiciary Committee has the responsibility to oversee the actions of the Department of Justice and ensure that it is doing its job correctly, effectively, and within the law. As the ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee on the Constitution, I have a special responsibility to ensure that the rights of all individuals are respected as required by law," said Nadler.

"The recent report by the Inspector General of the Justice Department has raised some very serious concerns not just about the wide-spread detentions following September 11, but also about the treatment of those individuals who were incarcerated. The government has every right to detain individuals involved in terrorism. It does not have the right to mistreat detainees, or to treat people as criminals until proven innocent," said Nadler.

The Office of the Inspector General was specifically critical of conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Center. Such conditions included alleged abuse of detainees, lack of access to family or legal counsel, and reported cases of relatives being told that their family members were not at the facility when in fact they were.

"We are often told that we must choose between civil liberties and security. This is a false choice. We must take care that the war on terrorism does not destroy the very freedoms we seek to uphold," said Nadler.