The Dissenter

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28 Jul 2015

On Human Rights, UN Committee Gives US Low Grades for Surveillance, Detention at Guantanamo

A United Nations committee, which reviews how countries comply with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), issued grades for the United States government’s implementation of recommendations issued last year. The committee gave the US low grades for surveillance and detention of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and in

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A banner reads "Caution: Killer Cops On The Loose" as activists protest the killing of Paul Castaway in  Denver, Colorado on June, 20 2015. (Twitter/Jesse Benn)
27 Jul 2015

Death Of Paul Castaway Highlights Denver’s Overlooked Police Brutality Problem

The death of a Rosebud Sioux man in Denver earlier this month is a painful reminder that police shootings are not limited to any one part of the United States, and certainly not just to places that received mainstream media attention after recent killings.

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27 Jul 2015

Cleveland Transit Cop Recklessly Pepper-Sprayed Crowd at Bus Stop After Movement for Black Lives Gathering

A transit police officer in Cleveland pepper-sprayed a group of people on July 26 at a bus stop across the street from Cleveland State University. It was about an hour after the Movement for Black Lives gathering concluded. Video captured by Twitter user @KentaviousPrime shows the white officer in the

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26 Jul 2015

Podcast: In Cleveland, Organizers Gather to Strengthen & Grow Movement for Black Lives

Following months of numerous actions across the United States, a gathering was held by the Movement for Black Lives from July 24-26 in Cleveland. The goal was to bring black organizers together to create a “collective mission that matches the intensity, scale, urgency, and promise of the moment.” It was also

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Prison Protest

26 Feb 2015

Thousands of Immigrant Prisoners Moved to Undisclosed Locations After Protesting Conditions

Nearly three thousand immigrant prisoners are being transferred to undisclosed federal facilities after a two-day demonstration against indecent living conditions and medical care left the Willacy County Regional Detention Facility in need of repairs. Willacy is a private prison operated by the Management and Training Corporation (MTC), where thousands of

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20 Feb 2015

Virginia Woman Dies In Custody After Being Tasered, Placed In Restraints and Anti-Spit Hood

On February 3rd, a 5’3″, 130 pound Virginia woman was killed after six deputies tased her before locking her in restraints with an anti-spitting hood over her head. Natasha McKenna, who was 37 years old and suffered from schizophrenia from a young age, went into cardiac arrest before ever leaving the jail and later died at the hospital.

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20 Feb 2015

Montana Legislature Debuts Bill Prohibiting Solitary Confinement for Minors, Seriously Mentally Ill

A bill introduced in the Montana House of Representatives this week would curb the use of isolation in state prisons. The Montana Solitary Confinement Reform Act (or House Bill 490) was introduced by Democrat Jenny Eck and would ban solitary confinement for people under the age of 18 and those with severe mental illness. It would also introduce due process and appeal measures for inmates facing solitary and require weekly mental health evaluations for isolated inmates.

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19 Feb 2015

Former Corizon Doctor Accused of Molesting Scores of Prisoners Served With Two New Lawsuits

With the filing of two new lawsuits in New Mexico this week, Dr. Mark E. Walden stands accused of sexually assaulting scores of prisoners while working for inmate healthcare contractor Corizon Health Services inside two different GEO Group for-profit prisons in the state.

Filed on February 13th and 16th, the lawsuits are the sixth and seventh to be brought against Dr. Walden in the past three years, and raise the total number of Walden’s known and alleged victims to around 50.

Walden is accused of fondling prisoners’ genitals and conducting superfluous, aggressive rectal exams for ailments like tooth aches and toe fungus. Walden has denied any and all wrongdoing, and Corizon and GEO Group have so far refused to speak with the press on these matters.

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The Bullpen

27 May 2015

Mary Landrieu Bows To The Inevitable, Becomes DC Lobbyist

Former US Senator Mary Landrieu, who spent a long and undistinguished political career shilling for the energy industry, has joined DC lobbying firm Van Ness Feldman and will focus on serving the firm’s energy clients. Though Landrieu is banned from lobbying her former colleagues in Congress until 2017, she is

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26 May 2015

Malaysia’s Human Trafficking Problem Complicating TPP

Malaysian officials find 139 suspected graves in abandoned camps used by human traffickers http://t.co/LubduyHOhs pic.twitter.com/yTuwiUwxep — CBS News (@CBSNews) May 25, 2015 Though the US Senate was perfectly willing to surrender some sovereignty to forward the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), human rights advocates were able to insert a provision into the

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25 May 2015

Pentagon Document Shows US Knew Syria Strategy Would Aid Rise Of ISIS

After takeover of Palmyra, ISIS has executed hundreds, including about a dozen children http://t.co/9GQpSj9K04 pic.twitter.com/0B5OsHGzq1 — CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) May 25, 2015 A newly declassified document from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) from 2012 reveals the US government’s understanding that the policy it was pursuing in Syra would foster

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22 May 2015

US Sending Weapons To Iraq To Use Against Weapons US Previously Sent To Iraq

Pentagon: Fall of Ramadi to ISIS a 'failure of leadership' http://t.co/vMlhFu1tb2 pic.twitter.com/9uMjBZxb86 — The Hill (@thehill) May 20, 2015 It’s almost like war is a business. The Pentagon announced on Thursday that the United States would be sending 2,000 AT-4 anti-tank rockets to Iraq. While the Department of Defense emphasized

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