Digital Journal, January 8, 2012
Inmates claim torture in U.S.-run prison in Bagram, Afghanistan
The British also stand accused after claims made by detainees from Muthana prison, where abuse and torture
By Katerina Nikolas
President Barack Obama greets deployed service members and civilians during a surprise visit to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. During his visit he thanked the troops for all their hard work and dedication to the United States. Prior to Obama meeting the troops he flew to Kabul to meet with Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai. (Photo: dvidshub.net/r/fb68k5)
Bagram - As America works to hand over control of Afghan detention facilities to the Afghan authorities, a new report by an Afghan investigative commission says inmates at a Bagram prison claim they have been tortured.
The prison in Bagram, Afghanistan is known as "the forgotten second Guantanamo" but worse than Guantanamo.
Exposed several years ago as a place of torture by human rights lawyers, a new report says inmates are still claiming they have been tortured and held without evidence.
An Afghan commission has investigated the prison prior to its transition to Afghan control. The BBC reported that Gul Rahman, head of the investigation, reported "During our visit to Bagram some of the prisoners talked of misconduct, some alleged they had been tortured."
Other prisoners complained they were still held in the prison after being cleared for release. Few details of alleged torture were detailed in the Afghan report by the Constitutional Oversight Commission.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul responded by stating it would investigate the claims, saying "We take seriously and investigate all allegations of detainee abuse."
Der Spiegel reported in 2009 that cases of abuse in the Bagram prison pre-dated and inspired torture techniques employed in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, Iraq. Military prosecutor Stuart Couch said "the Bagram facility made Guantanamo look like a nice hotel." The continued allegations of torture at the Bagram base make a mockery of President Obama's much vaunted words
"that under my administration the United States does not torture." (MSNBC)
The U.S. is not alone in torturing prisoners in Afghanistan. The British also stand accused after claims made by detainees from Muthana prison, where abuse and torture was described as "routine and systematic" by Human Rights Watch. Mutahana was closed following revelations of torture that included electric shocks, sodomy, and suffocation.
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