Radical media, politics and culture.

Detained for Terror, Pakistani Dies in Custody

Aisha writes: "When Muhammad Rafiq Butt died in the New Jersey's Hudson County jail on
23 after a month of detention, no one knew he was there. The
Pakistani restaurant worker was one of the 1,147 people detained for
questioning in the investigation of the Sept. 11 attacks. Until county
officials announced that Butt had been found dead in his jail cell,
the Pakistani consulate, Butt's family, nor members of the local
community knew of his incarceration.

The Justice Department has since confirmed that they have no evidence
linking Butt to the hijackers. Butt, instead, was being held by the
Immigration and Naturalization Service for overstaying his visitor's
and lacking proper travel documents. Yet his detention was cloaked in
secrecy. Butt's name was expunged from immigration charging documents.

Human rights attorneys say many immigrants like Butt, who speak little
English, often do not understand that they have the right to make phone
calls to lawyers and loved ones. And some, such as political
have good reasons for not contacting their consulates. But civil
groups say Butt's virtual disappearance into detention on Sept. 19 is
one of many cases where the government has withheld public information
detainees. Non-citizens held on immigration charges are most vulnerable
because they have no right to an attorney while in custody. Butt
appeared at
his hearing with a translator, but without legal counsel.

For the full story, go to: