One of the main concerns Dr. Dhafir expresses in the letter, is that they now have an FBI agent present in the Communication Management Unit (CMU) “mingling” with them:

“I asked the warden around the holidays in December for a meeting with all of us here. He agreed, after I provide him with a list of the topics that concern us: I did. After waiting for almost three months, he finally showed up. I prepared myself to discuss the issues that concern us, with all the documents and statements and notes.

“The first thing he said, while every one (all 47 of us) was quietly listening, was that he had just brought bulletin boards for every one of us to use in his room to hang pictures on. That was never a concern of ours. Hearing this, I put my notes away and kept my mind far away from this place and its employees. He kept on for almost 2 hours.

“He made it very clear that “you,” meaning us, are nothing but “inmates” and that he is the “warden” and he does things as he pleases without any obligation to explain to any one of us why he does. To be fair, his tone and demeanor was not abusive but the message was clear.

“He claims:

– Medical services are adequate and good as he sees it.

– Phone calls and visits are not going to change. No promises, but “you might get 2 phone calls a week soon.” !!!

– The recreation area will be expanded. (We heard this from day one.)

– Email will start mid June. All equipment and connection in place weeks ago!!!

– Blocking outside windows (especially the eating area) to make it more depressing and prevent seeing daylight will not change.

– No half way houses for those about to finish their time.

– No help for those who are to be deported when finishing their time so that they will not be incarcerated by “ICE” further when they are out processing their cases.

– No bringing back of the prayer area we had for the first 6 months. No one [is] allowed to pray outside his room especially in a group (as mandated by our faith) other than once a week on Friday. He admits that our cells are too small for that.

– While our cells are small, we are much better off than any prison he has been associated with he stated!!!!

– No live educational programs.

– No educational programs more than the one-hour a week video!!

– He is waiting for an ok to have each prisoner have his own TV to make room for other usages of the TV room.

– No one will be issued any new clothes. This answer came after one complained that he was issued filthy underwear with “feces” in it that could never wash away.

– Any time someone brings a major issue, he asked him to talk to him one-on-one, as it was a “personal issue.” Never ventured to address it publicly.

– The major topic was the presence of an FBI agent among us. Several weeks ago they brought this “agent” to mingle with us. It was brought up to the warden’s attention that was illegal. It is one thing that this agent gets an office and does whatever he does away from us. But it is entirely different when he engages people to trap them. Aref got emotional and objected strongly that regardless of the warden assurances (“you are not obliged to talk to him or tell him anything” the warden said) he feared that this agent will fabricate stories about him (Aref) as they did to him all along (and me too and others) to land him here. One asked as to what law he can cite for this. The warden simply said that the FBI asked and he ok’d it!!! Another asked the agent to provide a written statement as to what his purpose of being here was and that he will not “entrap” people. The Agent and the Warden refused.

“The warden hinted that he might force us soon to wear like the general population of prisoners if we pushed the issue of providing new clothes for us.

“While I had many things to say, I kept my mouth shut. The first 30 seconds of his presentation was enough to convince me that the did not come to solve problem[s] but to enforce his authority especially when I noticed that for the entire presentation he never took a single note to himself as a reminder for the things that he claimed he will look into.

“As for my health, when the orthoped[ist] saw me and gave me an injection he said that he would like to wait for a month to evaluate the response. I knew better. I did not leave until the nurse with him made a note and promised that I have to do nothing as she will schedule me. Guess what!! It has been over a month & no follow up visit. Now I have to start my usual and familiar struggle to make them do what needs to be done. Have you heard this before?! [Smiley face.]”

For more information on the CMU see, Dr. Rafil A. Dhafir at Terre Haute Prison’s New Communications Management Unit and, Dead Life in a Political Prison.

For more information on the medical neglect at the CMU, see here.