Alleging US torture, terror convict Padilla appeals to Americas’ rights group
Jose Padilla's mother is alleging to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that her son, currently in solitary confinement in a Colorado prison, was tortured during his 4 years in a naval brig.
Lawyers working on behalf of former military detainee and convicted terror conspirator Jose Padilla are asking an international human rights commission to investigate his detention without charge and alleged torture by the US government.Skip to next paragraph
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A 68-page petition filed on Tuesday with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights charges that the US military subjected Mr. Padilla to a combination of harsh conditions of confinement and brutal interrogation techniques in an effort to extract intelligence information about Al Qaeda.
The petition was filed by Padilla’s mother, Estela Lebron, on behalf of her and her son. Lawsuits raising the same allegations in US courts have been dismissed.
Padilla, a US citizen and Muslim convert, had lived overseas for a number of years, and government agents suspected he was a member of Al Qaeda sent to the US to detonate a radiological “dirty bomb.”
He later stood trial in Miami on charges of providing material support to Al Qaeda by volunteering to serve in the group. The trial included no mention of a dirty-bomb plot.
Padilla was convicted and is serving a 17-year prison term in solitary confinement at the maximum security prison in Florence, Colo.
An appeals court overturned his sentence as too lenient and has ordered the trial judge to issue a new sentence. The re-sentencing was set for Nov. 28, but was delayed for two months at the request of defense lawyers who expressed concern about Padilla’s mental health.
The complaint asks the human rights commission, an arm of the 35-member Organization of American States, to investigate Padilla’s treatment by the military and to declare the US government responsible for violating its obligations under a human rights treaty, the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.