Unindicted prisoners in Bagram, Afghanistan

This video is called Moazzam Begg Speaks, former Bagram and Guantánamo detainee.

From British daily The Morning Star:

US detainees seek right to sue for release

(Wednesday 07 January 2009)

FOUR men who have been held without charge at a US military base in Afghanistan for six years asked a US judge for the right to sue for their release on Wednesday.

The US Supreme Court ruled in June that detainees at Guantanamo Bay had the constitutional right to challenge their detentions in US courts.

Lawyers for the four men in yesterday’s case in the US District Court argued that detainees held at other US military prisons overseas should have the same habeas corpus rights.

International Human Rights Clinic lawyer Kathleen Kelley, who is representing three of the four men, warned that if the “Guantanamo standard” is not extended to all US detention centres, “a lot of the Guantanamo detainees could be transferred to Afghanistan, basically shifting the problem somewhere the government argues that they cannot challenge.”

More than 200 detainees are challenging their imprisonment at Guantanamo, where many have been held for years without charge.

But around 700 are being held at the Bagram airbase outside Kabul.

A new detention centre is currently under construction which will be able to hold about 10,000 more.

And officials estimate that thousands are imprisoned in US-run detention camps in Iraq.

Washington argues that the four detainees in yesterday’s case should have their cases heard by military tribunals.

In a December 19 motion asking for the case to be dismissed, the Justice Department wrote: “This court has no jurisdiction to review this.

“Federal courts should not thrust themselves into the extraordinary role of reviewing the military’s conduct of active hostilities overseas, second-guessing the military’s determination as to which captured aliens as part of such hostilities should be detained, and in practical effect, superintending the executive’s conduct in waging a war,” it added.

Ms Kelley retorted: “We are saying that’s just not true.

“Detainees cannot be held without process indefinitely anywhere by the US government,” she declared.

The evidence against the four men at the heart of yesterday’s case is unknown and many facts about how they were initially swept up and imprisoned after the September 11 2001 attacks have never been made clear.

None of the four men – two Yemeni, one Tunisian and one Afghan – were in Afghanistan at the time that they were captured in 2002.

At least two of them “disappeared” for several years, almost certainly held and interrogated in secret CIA prisons, before turning up in Bagram.

“The only reason that our clients are anywhere near Afghanistan is because the US government brought them to Bagram against their will,” Ms Kelley observed.

3 thoughts on “Unindicted prisoners in Bagram, Afghanistan

  1. Pingback: Bagram, Worse Than Guantanamo? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Torture and rape in ‘new’ Afghanistan | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Albanians sue on CIA torture flights | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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