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Alleging abuse, detainees file lawsuit

Jail's guards accused of violations during searches in 9/11 case

NEW YORK -- A Middle Eastern immigrant alleges he was violated during a body-cavity search at a federal jail following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The lawsuit filed yesterday by the man and another former detainee contends they were put in solitary confinement, beaten, and verbally abused by guards. They were later cleared of allegations that they had terrorist ties, but they were deported.

Unlike a pending civil complaint by other Sept. 11 detainees, also in Brooklyn federal court, the new lawsuit identifies guards at the Metropolitan Detention Center by their last names and accuses them of more extreme abuses.

Ehab Elmaghraby, a former restaurateur, and Javaid Iqdal, a former cable technician, ''were subjected to numerous unreasonable and unnecessary" strip searches, the lawsuit says.

One guard allegedly paraded Elmaghraby naked in front of a female co-worker.

Both men say they were shackled, punched, and called ''Muslim bastards" and other epithets. They also allege they were kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day and denied adequate meals and medical care. The men, both 37, are seeking unspecified damages for physical and emotional harm.

The detention center in Brooklyn was cited for brutal treatment of detainees in a report last year by the Justice Department inspector general. Federal prosecutors recently decided against bringing criminal charges against any guards.

A spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons refused comment.

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