Wednesday, May 19, 2004


From a Reuters story titled "U.S. Military Vows to Keep Afghan Jails Secret":

Accused of failing to tackle prison abuses in Afghanistan while rushing to contain the scandal in Iraq, the U.S. military in Kabul said it would review its secretive jails but vowed to keep them shut to the outside world.

The families of two Afghans who died from wounds sustained in a U.S. detention center at Bagram, just north of Kabul, 18 months ago, are still waiting for the outcome of a U.S. investigation....

U.S. military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Tucker Mansager ... said the U.S. military had yet to respond to a May 10 request from the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, which has collected more than 40 recent complaints of mistreatment, for access to the main jail at Bagram.

He also said journalists would not be allowed to see it, despite reporters being given access this month to Abu Ghraib, depicted in images of abuse of prisoners by American soldiers that sparked a backlash across the Arab world.

"It's the coalition's continued policy to treat persons under confinement in the spirit of the Geneva Conventions.

"Part of that spirit is to ensure that the persons under confinement are not subject to any kind of exploitation. It is the coalition's position that allowing media into the facilities would compromise that protection."

The unmitigated gall.

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