USA must grant Bagram detainees access to US courts

Afghan prisoners at Supreme Court after leaving US base at Bagram, Kabul, Afghanistan, 2005

Afghan prisoners at Supreme Court after leaving US base at Bagram, Kabul, Afghanistan, 2005

© APGraphicsBank


16 September 2009

The USA must grant all detainees held in US custody at the Bagram airbase in Afghanistan access to US courts and legal counsel, as they remain unable to challenge the lawfulness of their detention in an independent and impartial court in Afghanistan, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

The US government revealed updated administrative review procedures for detainees at Bagram in a legal document filed on Monday, as it continued its bid to prevent any of the detainees from challenging their detention in a US court.

Amnesty International has also urged the US government to allow detainees access to their relatives, doctors, and to consular representatives without delay.

There are currently about 600 detainees held at the base, the majority Afghan nationals.  Some have been held for years. They are held without access to legal counsel or to any court.

The US should also assist the Afghan government in creating mechanisms to ensure fair trials for those in detention, Amnesty International urges.

Washington and Kabul should consider the option of mixed national/international tribunals to try those apprehended in counter-insurgency operations by Afghan as well as US and other international forces.

For further information, see:

USA: Government opposes habeas corpus review for any Bagram detainees; reveals ‘enhanced’ administrative review procedures

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Index Number: AMR 51/100/2009
Date Published: 16 September 2009
Categories: USA

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