Obama Troop Announcement Renews Focus on Bagram
One of many consequences of President Obama’s decision to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan is that those troops are likely to capture many more prisoners that end up at the U.S.-run prison at Bagram air base. That’s raising concerns among human rights groups that the recently revealed secret prison run by special operations forces will be used to continue past abuses of detainees captured in the ongoing war.
Over the weekend, news reports revealed that terror suspects are being held in a secret part of the prison at that Bagram air base for interrogation. They’re denied access to the International Committee of the Red Cross, and some have claimed they’ve been subjected to abuses, including sleep deprivation, sexual humiliation and other maltreatment similar to the sorts of interrogation abuses that occurred during the Bush administration.
Human Rights First is now calling for a full investigation of the so-called “black prison” at Bagram and the alleged abuses there.
“These allegations raise serious questions about whether reforms initiated by the Obama administration are being properly implemented and about whether they are sufficient to end torture and detainee abuse,” the organization wrote in a letter sent yesterday to Afghanistan Commander Vice-Admiral Robert Harward. “If substantiated, the alleged conduct of detaining authorities is in violation of U.S. law, including the Detainee Treatment Act, and the 2006 Army Field Manual, which is applicable to all U.S. government agencies. It is also in violation of international law, including Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention against Torture.”
The letter asks that the results of the investigation be made public and that the perpetrators of abuses be held accountable.