[Ppnews] New report reveals effects of US detention without charge at Bagram

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Sep 4 10:21:09 EDT 2013


Reprieve + 44 (0) 207 553 8161  For Immediate Release: Wed Sept 4, 2013

*New report reveals effects of US detention without charge at Bagram*

A new report released today reveals for the first time the effects on 
detainees and their families of US detention at Bagram prison in 
Afghanistan.

Produced by NGO Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), which represents 11 of 
the men, the report includes newly-gathered testimony from family 
members and former detainees.

Bagram, sometimes referred to as 'the Afghan Guantanamo', affords no due 
process or basic legal rights to the men detained there. Although the 
prison was transferred to Afghan authorities in March 2013, 60 
non-Afghan nationals remain under US control; 40 of these men are 
Pakistani. None has ever been charged with a crime. It is in Bagram that 
Yunus Rahmatullah and Amanatuallah Ali are held -- two men rendered in a 
joint UK-US operation which was the subject of a UK Supreme Court ruling.

One Bagram prisoner, Kaleem, was 14 years old when he was kidnapped by 
US forces. He was cleared for release in 2010 yet remains detained. His 
father, Gul Muhammad, is an ex-Army officer who struggles to survive in 
his son's absence.

Zain, who was just three when his father was taken to Bagram, is now 12 
years old. He said: 'I don't remember him much. I was quite young when 
he left. I remember he took me to school when I was admitted to Class 1. 
Then he disappeared and now I can't even remember his face. I miss him. 
When I see other boys playing with their fathers, and the things they do 
together, I do miss him. I think of him then.'

Gul Nawaz is the brother of Abdul Jabbar, held since 2005. As Gul Nawaz 
explained, he and his family have "lost one of the breadwinners in the 
family. I work when I can and one of my elder brothers works as well. My 
younger brother goes to school," Gul Nawaz added, "It's important that 
he get an education."

/'Closing Bagram, the Other Guantanamo'/ also details how:

    * Detainees are not permitted access to independent legal counsel.
      JPP has never been able to meet with and never has any contact
      with the men it represents.

    * A Detainee Review Board (DRB) reviews prisoner status every six
      months yet at no point are detainees represented by a legally
      trained advocate. Instead, each detainee is assigned a 'personal
      representative' (PR) who is tasked with representing the
      detainee's best interests. The PR is a member of the US military.
        Former detainee Ayaz, arrested aged just 15, said: 'The DRBs
      (Detainee Review Boards) were a joke, another way to humiliate us.
      I had a representative who was not a lawyer. He would often make
      my case worse... The only evidence they had against me is what
      they first forced me to sign at [a U.S. military base in] Paktika
      (province).

    * Family members of Pakistani detainees are typically unable to meet
      with their loved ones because of the difficulty in travel and time
      spent away from employment.

    * The U.S. military only allows detainees to speak with their family
      in Urdu or Pashtu. Any discussions in other languages, which are
      often the mother tongue of family members, are strictly forbidden.

*Barrister Sarah Belal (Director, JPP)* said: "JPP's Bagram Campaign 
highlights the plight of the Bagram detainees and the suffering their 
families have had to endure. Bagram is Guantananamo's evil twin -- a 
lawless hell-hole and a stain on the US global reputation.'

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. For further information, please contact Clemency Wells in Reprieve's 
Press Office, on: +44 (0) 207 553 8161 / clemency.wells at reprieve.org.uk 
<mailto:clemency.wells at reprieve.org.uk>

2. The report is available online today 
(http://www.jpp.org.pk/bagram/category/jpp-documents/the-report/ 
<http://reprieve.us1.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=d176b31fc0ccbde9f3f3a6349&id=360a559b0b&e=f8755a10f3>) 
and launched at an all-day event on Thursday September 5th in Pakistan 
at which family members of detainees will be in attendance. The report 
is launched alongside a website and exhibition by photographer Asim 
Rafiqui who travelled around Pakistan meeting and capturing detainees' 
families.

3. Real names have been changed in the report to protect anonymity.
-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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