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Dems: Explain Detainee Drugging

The bicameral Helsinki Commission, chaired by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), asked Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff today to explain why and under what conditions U.S. authorities have drugged detainees who were not in need of medical attention.

"We write regarding the recent report in the Washington Post, "Some Detainees Are Drugged for Deportation" (by Amy Goldstein and Dana Priest, May 14, 2008). According to this article, the Washington Post has identified more than 250 cases since 2003 in which the government has, without medical reason and without consent, given psychiatric drugs to immigrant deportees," the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Chertoff. "The forced medication of detainees may violate both domestic and international law; moreover, these reports further tarnish the already badly damaged reputation of the United States."

The letter in full -- which is also signed by commission members Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Reps. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) -- is after the jump.
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