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Boston Bombing News: What of Khairullozhon Matanov?

As we know, Khairullozhon Matanov is being held, prior to trial, in solitary confinement at Plymouth County Correctional Facility on charges which even the “Boston Globe” deem to be a prosecutorial over-reach.  These charges are one count of destroying ,altering and falsifying records, documents and tangible objects in a federal investigation and three counts of making false statements in a federal terrorism investigation.

Last week, a physical assault on KM by corrections officers, following what is best described as a disciplinary infraction, was publicized on a few websites. Notably, this assault failed to catch the attention of the mainstream media and the only ongoing investigation is being conducted by Plymouth County  Correctional Facility.  (How does that work?) Whilst Edward Hayden, Matanov’s public defender, did confirm the recent assault on his client, he appeared to seek to minimize the injuries sustained by his client.

Matanov has claimed he had a good relationship with Paul Glickman, the attorney he hired privately, prior to his incarceration, but has expressed distrust of and a lack of confidence in his public defender, Edward Hayden, since the very beginning of their relationship. Hayden has now, at the request of his client, requested to be removed from this case. A hearing for this purpose has been scheduled for 20th. November. I think we can be assured that Ed Hayden will be doing very little for his client while he is waiting to be removed from this case.

As of now, Matanov remains in solitary confinement at Plymouth County Correctional Facility. He claims to be suffering from vision issues as a result of the recent assault,  and for which he claims he is not receiving any medical treatment. In addition his telephone privileges have revoked for the second straight month so that he has been unable to speak with his family. A declining quality in meals provided at the jail has been mentioned. Khairullozhon Matanov has stated that he fears for his life.

Taunts from the corrections officers, which have been mentioned consistently, are said to continue, mostly I understand, being based upon Matanov’s religion.  (“Muslim terrorist” being one of the most frequently mentioned.)

This case, in my opinion, serves to raise a whole range of questions:

1) Why such charges have been brought in the first place? These charges, as in the case of Robel Phillipos, would seem to be a waste of taxpayer’s money. ( A Supreme Court case involving a Florida fisherman has led to sentencing hearings being postponed in the cases of Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev.  Might the case which is now with the Supreme Court effect these two cases  more extensively?)

2) Why is Matanov being detained whilst awaiting trial? The crimes of which he is accused are non-violent. Numerous offers of accommodation for Matanov were received by his attorney. Judge Marrianne Bowler’s claim that Matanov would be a flight risk seem dubious due to the fact that the government has confiscated his passport.

3)Why has solitary confinement  been imposed? Claims that this is for Matanov’s own protection seem spurious considering it was a fellow inmate who first reported the assault on KM by corrections officers.

4)The recent assault on Matanov obviously raises concerns and the seeming lack of any real investigation into this raises even more. Shouldn’t there be far more transparency when such incidents occur within US prisons and jails?

5) Allegations of taunts from guards and most particularly those involving religion are disturbing. Is there a culture of Islamophobia amongst the staff at Plymouth County Correctional Facility?

Some claim that  Matanov has exaggerated the extent of his injuries. This may or may not be the case. Regardless, any such incident should, in my opinion, be subject to a thorough and independent investigation. When Khairullozhon Matanov says he fears for his life, this is a cry for help. Someone should be listening.


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