An official with Amnesty International wants to interview Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman about allegations he’s being mistreated in the high-security wing of a federal jail in New York that’s housed mobsters and terrorists.
The human rights group is “concerned that the conditions imposed on (Guzman) appear to be unnecessarily harsh and to breach international standards for humane treatment,” Justin Mazzola wrote in a letter to federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, where the U.S. case against Guzman was brought.
Mazzola is seeking access to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan amid reports that Guzman’s health has deteriorated since he was brought to the United States in January to face charges that he oversaw a multibillion-dollar international drug trafficking operation responsible for murders and kidnappings.
The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment Thursday.
Amnesty International’s request follows complaints by Guzman’s lawyers about conditions in the Special Housing Unit — known by its acronym, the SHU, pronounced like “the shoe” — where prisoners spend 23 hours a day in 20-by-12-foot (6-by-3.7-meter) cells….