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kneel in front of the Saigon flag and then we were expelled from the courtroom and I was given a four-year sentence,” he said. “When I took a Vietnamese attorney to appeal my conviction to the Supreme Court he was never allowed to meet with me inside Chi Hoa prison. The only time I was allowed to meet with him was when he was arrested for defending me. And Ile’s still in jail. “This was done for foreign prisoners,” Debris said. “You must imagine what is done for the Vietnamese prisoners. The day I was myself brought to my trial there were 200 Vietnamese brought to trial and they were judged at the same time. The judges judged 200 prisoners in five minutes time. Even the prisoner himself was never brought inside the courtroom. They have no defense counsel at all. The judge said the name of the prisoner and then said, `Five years for you, 10 years for you, five years for you.’ Nothing else. And the majority of prisoners have never any hearing, never any trial at all.” Being in the main Saigon prison, Jean-Pierre had an opportunity to see prisoners in transit from all the provinces. “I could get a very good idea of what was the treatment inside all the prisons. We had news of all the prisons,” he said. Of course, the most infamous of the South Vietnamese prisons are the tiger cages on Con Son Island. The cages are built by Raymond, Morrison-Knudsen, Brown and Root \(that’s the Brown and Root of Company. The RMK-BRJ combine has been the primary contractor for most of the major construction projects in South Vietnam from 1965 to the, present. Lyndon Johnson was very close to George and Herman Brown, and during his presidency RMK-BRJ received $1.2 billion of the $1.6 billion America spent on construction in Vietnam. In 1971, the combine built three new blocks of tiger cages consisting of 96 cells. They are six feet by eight feet, two square feet smaller than the old cages. The IPC people believe that the $400,000 contract for the new cages was financed by Food and Peace funds. DEBRIS SAID that the prisoners from Con Son Island, political prisoners that is, were occasionally brought back to Saigon for short periods of time. The unfortunates who had been in tiger cages are said to walk like crabs. “After being shackled for one year or two usually they are shackled inside the tiger cage when they get out they cannot walk any more. They have to crawl on the ground,” Debris explained. “They did have these little wooden benches and they just crawl on the ground with these little wooden benches. And sometimes other prisoners had to carry them on their soulders. They cannot stand inside the tiger cage. And they take turns together to sleep, because there are too many prisoners inside the same tiger cage.” “You know,” he said, “there are two rows of tiger cages and in the middle of the two rows there is a small concrete pass on which the guards can go and they can look down into the tiger cages and see what the prisoners are doing inside. The old ones, they are iron. Now the new tiger cages have been made from only concrete and even the ceilings are made with concrete. They have a small hole from which the guards could pour quick lime inside these new cages during the repressions when the political prisoners shouted slogans or started protesting for the lack of food. At first these tiger cages were built for only one prisoner, but now they crowd them with five or six prisoners together. “When I was first in the United States in. March, one of the spokesmen for this company, when we denounced the fact that there are new tiger cages being built, he answered in a news conference. He acknowledged that his company was involved in the construction of prison compounds in Con Son and he say quote ‘I would say good compounds.’ And these compounds, according to the photocopy of the signed contract being signed with the Department of the Navy, are isolation compounds.” It’s not exactly a bed of Oriental rose petals for any of the political prisoners, according to Debris. “Not only are the prisoners tortured after being arrested to extract information from them, or confessions from them, but there is systematic torture inside the prison. These prisons are reeducation centers, reeducate the prisoner to force him to salute the Saigon flag and recognize the Saigon government as the only legitimate government in South Vietnam. He will be asked when entering the prison, ‘Are you willing to salute the Saigon flag?’ Of course, almost all of the political prisoners say they refuse to salute the Saigon flag and so they are put for six months or so in the special room which is the movie room, which, in fact, was the torture room. When a delegation come inside the prison, they change this room into a movie room and they put away all the torture instruments and set up a projector and put a screen on the wall.” Debris said the really uncooperative prisoners are eventually sent to the tiger cages for further reeducation. “In the tiger cages they get rice mixed with sand and pebbles, nothing else, no meat, no vegetables,” he said. “Then you have constant beatings by the trustees who are common criminals. They pour quick lime inside the tiger cages so that the prisoners are completely blinded by the quick lime. Many of them have faces with white spots because of tear gas or nausea gas being thrown on them inside the tiger cages.” THAT’S WHAT our federal tax money is paying for in South Vietnam. According to the IPC, some of the money for such atrocities comes from the yearly farm bill. Food for Peace is transformed into “Food For Torture,” according to Focal Point, the IPC newspaper. The IPC charges that the food allocated to the Thieu government $134.4 million for 1974 is sold for Vietnamese piasters and the money is earmarked for military and prison expenditures. Sen. William Proxmire inserted an amendment in the Senate version of the farm bill this year providing that no Food for Peace funds shall be “used for the purpose of procuring any equipment, materials, facilities or services for any military or defense purposes, including internal security.” The amendment was jettisoned in conferenCe committee. “Peace can’t come in Vietnam until the prisoners are released,” Fonda said. “Pali of the peace agreement, the January agreement, calls for formation of the National Council of Reconciliation and Concord, which would unite the Thieu forces, the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam that was recognized in the peace agreement as a legitimate, legal government ‘ of South Vietnam with its own army and its own territory and the third force, the neutralists, the people who are not communists but who are opposed to Thieu. These three political entities are supposed to supervise the implementation of this agreement, to organize and supervise elections. This can’t happen because virtually the entire third force is in prison,” she said. “Unless we can use the economic leverage we have here to threaten Thieu with a cutoff of aid, unless he complies with the January agreement and releases the prisoners, what we are going to witness is an escalation militarily even beyond what it is now. “Senator Bentsen is a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Aid Appropriations,” Fonda said. “He is in a position to be able to word the foreign aid bill in such a way that money will not go to Thieu unless he complies with the January peace agreement.” She urged Texans to write Bentsen and their congressmen concerning the prisoner situation. The IPC is also providing interested persons with bracelets, each bearing the name of a South Vietnamese prisoner. Names can be obtained from Direct Action in Austin or by w , iting the Indochina Peace Movement, 181 Pier Ave., Santa Monica, Calif. 90405. Debris said he’s certain that letters written to the Saigon prison on his behalf helped bring about his release. K.N. November 2, 19 73 13