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Arrested, Locked Up, Forgotten for Four Days without Food and Water
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Welcome to democracy, DEA style. Daniel Chong was picked up from a get-together, handcuffed and thrown into a tiny holding cell without food and water, a packet of methamphetamine left in the cell on the hopes that he would use it – all because after severe interrogation, nothing could be found to charge him and he was told he was not a suspect. The DEA agents made him sign some papers, pushed him into the windowless and bathroomless little cell and left him rotting there in the dark for four days.

Chong was neither legally arrested nor charged. Some DEA agents chanced upon him on the fifth day, by which he had lost 6.8 kilograms, had been forced to drink his own urine, eat the methamphetamine placed in his cell for lack of food, and was suffering from dehydration, kidney failure, cramps and a perforated esophagus. A DEA welcome to Asian students at the University of California.

On Wednesday, Chong’s attorneys filed a claim of $20 million against the Drug Enforcement Administration saying Chong’s treatment constitutes torture under both U.S. and International law.

  
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William R. Sherman, the man at the top in San Diego for the DEA, made a hasty news release saying that he was ‘deeply troubled’ by what had happened to Chong, but did not offer any apologies.

Federal law enforcement officials claim that is required by the agency to check cells each night. Chong’s cell was not checked because it did not have a bathroom and was not meant for holding anyone overnight.

Federal lawmakers are angry. Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer sent a letter on Wednesday to Attorney General Eric Holder saying, “Please provide me with the results and the actions the department will take to make sure those responsible are held accountable and that no one in DEA custody will ever again be forced to endure such treatment.”

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Even though Chong was arrested at a party where a lot of ecstasy and weapons were found, personally he was not associated with any crime or offense as already ascertained by his interrogators. The question of locking him away in a worse than prison solitary confinement situation is unthinkable.





 

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