U.S. Allows Family Visits at Afghan Military Prison

After years of negotiating with human rights groups and the Red Cross, the U.S. this week allowed five detainees at Bagram AFB in Afghanistan to receive a family visit. There are 600 detainees in Bagram, some of whom have been held for years.

The decision to allow the visits followed years of discussions between American officers and the Red Cross, which says face-to-face visits between prisoners and relatives are a guaranteed right under international humanitarian law.

...The U.S. military in Iraq already allows visits to detainees by family members. Two detention centers, one in Baghdad and one on the Kuwait border, receive an average of 13,000 visitors a month, said Maj. Neal V. Fisher II, a U.S. spokesman in Iraq. Video conference visits are also available, he said.


One story:

Haji Qasim's brother Ahktar Mohammad was detained nearly three years ago in the eastern province of Khost. Like many family members of prisoners in Bagram, Qasim said his brother was detained based on wrong information provided to American troops.

On Tuesday, he sat across from his older brother, a glass window separating the two. They could not hear each other well, but Qasim saw the number 2629 on Mohammad's prison uniform.

"We cried first," Qasim said. Then he said they chatted for about an hour and fifteen minutes, before Qasim and other family members were bused back to Kabul where they were given money by the Red Cross for their journey home.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Good, sort of... (none / 0) (#1)
    by bocajeff on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 02:44:23 PM EST
    This is a good story. However, there are about 1,000 other major things that Americans should be more concerned about. I know this sounds awful but it's true.

    If you want to worry about the conditions of non-Americans then there are far more important international stories to report on than a few hundred detainees (like Darfur, Zimbabwe, etc...)

    My point is that for progressives to really show that they care about others is to be less selective as to who they care about. A million Africans vs. a few hundred Iraqi detainees -

    what a horrible comment (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 02:51:13 PM EST
    please, not here.