The European Court of Human Rights ruled yesterday that Britain can extradite five men to the United States to face terrorism charges. In the likely event that they are convicted, they face life sentences in solitary confinment in the notorious ADX Florence, the “Alcatraz of the Rockies.”
The AP is calling the high-profile case “a European referendum on whether conditions at Colorado’s Supermax federal prison amounted to torture.” In agreeing to extradite the suspects, the court is saying that life in solitary at ADX would not violate Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which states: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
We will be writing more on this case in the coming days. In the meantime, readers are encouraged to consider two documents, and judge for themselves.
The first document consists of the evidence presented on behalf of the prisoners in question, as summarized by the court, which reads like a rudown of arguments against long-term solitary confinement in general, and ADX in particular.
The second is Susan Greene’s searing report on solitary confinement, “The Gray Box,” which focuses largely on ADX and includes the most powerful evidence of all–the testimony of the men who live there.