A Separate U.S. Jail at Afghanistan’s Parwan?
The BBC reports that it’s confirmed with the International Committee of the Red Cross that U.S. military officials in Afghanistan have notified it of a previously unacknowledged detention facility within the Bagram/Parwan prison:
“The ICRC is being notified by the US authorities of detained people within 14 days of their arrest,” a Red Cross spokesman said.
“This has been routine practice since August 2009 and is a development welcomed by the ICRC.”
The spokesman was responding to a question from the BBC about the existence of the facility, referred to by many former prisoners as the Tor Jail, which translates as “black jail”.
The BBC further reports that it’s got accounts from nine former inmates who say they were abused at Tor. Months ago, I asked Vice Adm. Robert Harward, the chief U.S. military officer responsible for detentions operations in Afghanistan if all detainees had access to the Red Cross, and he answered, “All detainees under my command have access to the International [Committee of the] Red Cross.” According to the ICRC, that’s been the case since August 2009 (which precedes Harward’s November arrival in Afghanistan). But how long was Tor open before detainees had ICRC access?
(Via Jeff Kaye.)
Update: From Air Force Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis, a spokesman for Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal: “We only have one detention facility.”