A report from a US policy think tank said that prisoners are being abused at a “secret jail” in the main American military base in Afghanistan. (photo, from bbcimg.co.uk)
New-York based Open Society Foundations said that ex-detainees said they were deprived of sleep and held in cold isolation cells in the site at Bagram.
However the US military repeated its denial that it was operating a secret jail.
‘Very troubling pattern’
Funded by liberal billionaire George Soros, Open Society Foundations says 18 detainees claim they were held at a secret site, dubbed the “black jail”, during 2009 and 2010.
According to the inmates they were exposed to excessive cold and light, not given enough food or blankets, deprived of sleep, stripped naked for medical examinations and not allowed to practise their religion.
“Given the consistency of the accounts, the Open Society Foundations believes these are genuine areas of concern, and not outliers, that run counter to US rules on detainee treatment,” the report says.
Jonathan Horowitz, the author of the report said : “We’re not talking about being threatened to death in interrogation with drills to their head, we’re talking about run-of-the-mill detention conditions that when seen as a whole create a very troubling pattern.”
According to US military, its detention centres complied with US and international laws.
“The Department of Defence does not operate any secret prisons,” Capt Pamela Kunze, a spokeswoman for the US military task force overseeing detentions in Afghanistan, told Associated Press news agency.