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October 21, 2004 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-21

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4

8A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 21, 2004

NEWS

POLLS
Continued from page 1A
UAAO co-chair Stephanie Chang said
their voter-monitoring plan will be a
"ground-breaking" endeavor because it is
specifically aimed at overturning voting
roadblocks that both Asian and Arab
Americans face.
"People are paying attention to the
voting rights of students and other
minorities, but not a lot of people are
paying attention to the barriers Asians and
Arabs face," she said. "When we do this
we are trying to bring it in a new direction
by focusing it on them."
But as the defense fund and its allies
prepare for election day, minority voters in
Michigan should not worry about facing
discrimination at the polls, said Kelly
Chesney, spokeswoman for Michigan's
Department of State. "We do not have
evidence that discrimination goes on in
Michigan," she said. "Instead, we have
a history of well-conducted elections in
Michigan."'
Not only are Michigan's election
officials trained to deal with different
ethnic groups, but officials also come
from the communities they are serving
and interact with their voters on a daily
basis, Chesney said. "We do sensitivity
training and deal with different popu-
lations. Not just different ethnic groups
but people with hearing problems or
disabilities of some sorts. We train
them to deal with all situations, not just
race," she added.
In the meantime, Fung said their
workers will monitor the sites in
Michigan and seven other states by
offering direct information to voters
who have experienced problems with
voting. She also said they will have a
multilingual election hotline to assist
voters who may have encountered
problems and if needed, can call a
local attorney to intervene on their
behalf. Defense funds attorneys are
also at work checking up on election
registration offices to ensure voters are
registered correctly, Fung added.
In tandem, the defense fund hopes
to gain voter information from the
project, which could be used as a
long-term method to resolve polling
site issues.
Chang said in addition to providing
guidance to voters, the 60 to 70
student volunteers from the University
will monitor polling sites in Detroit,
Hamtramck, Dearborn and Ann
Arbor by conducting exit-poll surveys,
tallying the number of voters who feel
they were discriminated against and
for whom they voted.
Having this information can also be
used in future litigation if polling sites
show prevalent problems, Mallik said.
Ultimately it will lead to the improved
security of minority voting rights, she
added.
i"By getting voters to respond to
the survey, we will be collecting
important information about Asian
American voting patterns and expe-
riences. This can be used to better
serve the minority community in
later elections and ensure that their
voices be heard."

Padilla lawyer
calls detention
unconstitutional

I

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -
Attorneys for alleged enemy combat-
ant Jose Padilla argued yesterday that
the president has no authority to order
anyone held indefinitely without charg-
es, nor does any federal law allow such
detentions.
Padilla, a U.S. citizen whom the gov-
ernment alleges was part of an al-Qaida
plot to set off a radiological bomb, is
being held at the brig at the Charleston
Naval Weapons Station.
"The Constitution grants the presi-
dent no power to detain a citizen
seized in a civilian setting in the
United States and to imprison him,
indefinitely and without charge, in a
military brig," the lawyers said in a
court filing. "No statute authorizes
such detention."
The motion asks that Padilla be freed
while the government decides whether
to bring criminal charges.
Padilla, who was born in New York
City, was arrested in Chicago after the
2001 terror attacks. He was later desig-
nated an enemy combatant, brought to
the brig and prevented from challenging
his detention.
His attorneys sued, and last year the
2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in
New York ordered him released unless
the government charged him with a
crime.
The U.S. Supreme Court, without
ruling on the merits of the case, decided
the New York court had no jurisdiction
over the brig commander. The lawsuit
was refiled in Charleston.

The government has until late next
month to respond to yesterday's motion,
and a judge will hear arguments in early
January.
The defense linked Padilla's case to
that of Yaser Hamdi, another so-called
enemy combatant held in U.S. solitary
confinement for nearly three years
after being captured on an Afghan
battlefield.
Hamdi, who was born in Louisi-
ana, was released last week after the
Justice Department said he no longer
posed a threat to the United States
and no longer had any intelligence
value.
The Supreme Court had ruled earlier
that Hamdi should be allowed to argue
for his freedom.
"A state of war is not a blank check
for the president when it comes to the
rights of the nation's citizens," Justice
Sandra Day O'Connor wrote in the
Hamdi case.
An order by President Bush in
November 2001 allows captives to
be detained as "enemy combatants"
if they were members of al-Qaida,
engaged in or aided terrorism or har-
bored terrorists. The designation may
also be applied if it is "the interest of
the United States" to hold an individual
during hostilities.
In their motion, Padilla's attorneys
argue "the indefinite military deten-
tion of citizens arrested in the United
States based on suspected wrongdoing
is entirely unprecedented in American
history."

.' .

Sgt pleads guilty to prison abuse

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A U.S.
Army staff sergeant pleaded guilty yes-
terday to abusing Iraqi detainees at Abu
Ghraib prison, telling a military court
that prisoners were forced to submit to
public nudity and degrading treatment
"for military intelligence purposes."
Army reservist Ivan "Chip" Freder-
ick, 38, of Buckingham, Va., confessed
to eight counts of conspiracy, derelic-
tion of duty, maltreatment of detainees,
assault and committing an indecent act.
He was expected to be sentenced today
and could receive 11 years in prison.
A military policeman who is a cor-
rections officer in civilian life, Frederick
is the highest-ranking soldier charged in
the scandal, which broke in April with
the publication of photos and videos

showing American troops abusing and
humiliating naked Iraqi detainees.
His lawyer, Gary Myers, said Fred-
erick agreed to cooperate fully in fur-
ther investigations and would testify at
courts-martial for other soldiers.
"I was wrong about what I did and I
shouldn't have done it," Frederick told
the judge, Army Col. James Pohl. "I
knew it was wrong at the time because I
knew it was a form of abuse."
But Frederick also blamed his chain of
command, saying he was given no train-
ing or support in supervising detainees
and only learned of regulations against
mistreatment after the abuses occurred
between October and December last year.
He testified that when he brought
issues up with his commanders, "they

told me to do what MI told me to do,"
referring to military intelligence.
A report this year by Army Maj. Gen.
Antonio Taguba said using MPs to break
prisoners may have been a technique
imported from the Guantanamo Bay
prison and possibly detention centers in
Afghanistan holding suspected terrorists.
During the proceeding, Chief Warrant
Officer Kevin Kramer, a military intelli-
gence soldier called as a witness, referred
to an e-mail from the U.S. command in
Baghdad telling him to order his inter-
rogators to be tough on prisoners.
"The gloves are coming off, gentle-
men, regarding these detainees," said the
e-mail, which was read into evidence.
It added that the command "wants the
detainees broken."

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(STUDENT) POLITICAL DEBATE
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ALL;

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2004 WILLIAM W BISHOP JR. LECTURE IN INTERNATIONAL LAW
MARY ROBINSON
President of Ireland (1990-1997)
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002)
Professor, Columbia University (Present)
Advancing Economic, Social and Cultural Rights:
A Timely Debate VIII' III ii l
Thursday, October 21, 2004
4:00 p.m.
University of Michigan Law School
625 South State Street
Honigman Auditorium
Room 100 Hutchins Hall
2004 HELEN L. DEIZOY FELLOW

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