U.S. Won't Release Results of Bagram Investigation
Remember the two Afghans who died mysteriously while in U.S. custoday at Bagram Air Force base in Afganistan? Their deaths were ruled homicides, caused by blunt force injuries. The U.S. promised an investigation. Turns out, they won't tell us what they found.
Amnesty International criticized the U.S. today:
When apparent homicides occur in secret prisons, and promised investigations show no results, the country's cherished values of humane treatment and respect for the law are dishonored," William F. Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said in a written statement. "The failure to account for the prisoners' deaths indicates a chilling disregard for the value of human life."
The official response to Amnesty's statement?
U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty said in Bagram on Saturday, "I accept that people under custody died here. I deny that they were mistreated."
Hundreds of prisoners were held and interrogated without charges at Bagram, and like those at Guantanamo, they were not afforded prisoner of war status.
Amnesty said that interviews of former Bagram prisoners that were conducted by the human rights group and by journalists have shown that detainees were subjected to ill treatment that may constitute torture, including blindfolding, prolonged forced kneeling, sleep deprivation and the cruel use of shackles.
The interrogations reportedly took place in a special area on the second floor. The Red Cross was denied access to this area. during their visits to other parts of the facility. For more on reports of mistreatment at Bagram, go here.
Update: Read the letter the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights sent to Lt. Gen. John Vines, U.S. Commander in Afganistan, about the deaths.
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