Afghan Detainees Allege Abuse at US Base

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2009 1:13 PM CDT
Afghan Detainees Allege Abuse at US Base
Freed Afghan journalist Jawed Ahmad, detained for 11 months at the main US military base at Bagram.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Many Afghans once detained by the US military at Bagram air base, north of Kabul, say they were treated similarly to abused prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, the BBC reports. “They did things that you would not do against animals let alone to humans,” a former detainee said, including sexual humiliation and death threats. Most Bagram detainees have no access to lawyers or hope of trial.

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A Pentagon spokesman said conditions there “meet international standards for care and custody.” Aid groups are pushing to provide services to the detainees, who are in a “legal black hole,” but the Obama administration opposes the move. The Justice Department argues that legal rights for Bagram detainees would hinder the US “ability to succeed in armed conflict and to protect United States’ forces.” (Read more Bagram Air Force Base stories.)

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