US Afghan Prison Dwarfs Gitmo

Plans to transfer prisoners falls short
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2008 12:00 PM CST
U.S. soldiers salute during a ceremony to mark the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11, plane hijack terrorist attacks on the USA, during a ceremony at their base in Bagram, Afghanistan, Tuesday Sept....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Guantanamo Bay may get all the press, but Bagram, the US detention center in Afghanistan, holds over twice as many prisoners, and it’s proving just as difficult to close. Plans to transfer its roughly 630 inmates to a US-funded Afghan prison outside Kabul have failed, the New York Times reports; the new building isn’t big enough to hold them all.

The prison opened in 2001 as a supposedly temporary measure. As with Gitmo, questions about prisoner treatment abound. The Red Cross says inmates are hidden from inspectors and abused in violation of the Geneva Conventions. “Bagram hasn’t gone away,” said one human rights lawyer. “The government has just done a better job of keeping it secret.”