Ex-detainees allege Bagram abuse
By Ian Pannell
Allegations of abuse and neglect at a
A number of former detainees have alleged they were beaten, deprived of sleep and threatened with dogs at the Bagram military base.
The BBC spoke to 27 ex-inmates around the country over two months. Just two said they had been treated well.
The Pentagon has denied the charges and insisted that all inmates in the facility are treated humanely.
All the men were asked the same questions and they were all interviewed in isolation.
They were held at various times between 2002 and 2008. They were all accused of belonging to or helping al-Qaeda or the Taliban.
BAGRAM AIR BASE
Base built by the Soviet military in the 1980s
Around 600 people are held
Prisoners are classified as "unlawful enemy combatants'
Officials react to Bagram 'abuse'
Foreign detainees 'have US right'
Bagram: US base in
Afghan ex-prisoner speaks of fear
None was charged with any offence or put on trial - some even received apologies when they were released.
Many allegations of ill-treatment appear repeatedly in the interviews: physical abuse, the use of stress positions, excessive heat or cold, unbearably loud noise, being forced to remove clothes in front of female soldiers.
In four cases detainees were threatened with death at gunpoint.
"They did things that you would not do against animals let alone to humans," said one inmate known as Dr Khandan.
"They poured cold water on you in winter and hot water in summer. They used dogs against us. They put a pistol or a gun to your head and threatened you with death," he said.
"They put some kind of medicine in the juice or water to make you sleepless and then they would interrogate you."
The findings were shown to the Pentagon.
Lt Col Mark Wright, a spokesman for the
Col Wright said the
"There have been well-documented instances where that policy was not followed, and service members have been held accountable for their actions in those cases," he said.
'Legal black hole'
Amnesty 'shocked' by Bagram claims
Bagram has held thousands of people over the last eight years and a new detention centre is currently under construction at the camp.
Some of the inmates are forcibly taken there from abroad, especially Pakistanis and at least two Britons.
Since coming to office
But unlike its detainees at the
The inmates at Bagram are being kept in "a legal black-hole, without access to lawyers or courts", according to Tina Foster, executive director of the International Justice Network, a legal support group representing four detainees.
None of the detainees were charged or put on trial
She is pursuing legal action that, if successful, would grant
detainees at Bagram the same rights as those still being held at
But the Obama administration is trying to block the move.
Last year, the US Supreme Court ruled that detainees at
Speaking on the presidential campaign trail, Barack Obama
applauded the ruling: "The court's decision is a rejection of the Bush
administration's attempt to create a legal black hole at
"This is an important step toward re-establishing our credibility as a nation committed to the rule of law, and rejecting a false choice between fighting terrorism and respecting habeas corpus."
Ms Foster accuses the new administration of abandoning that position and "using the same arguments as the Bush White House".
In its legal submissions, the
They also argue that granting legal rights to detainees
could harm Mr Obama's "ability to succeed in armed conflict and to protect
These revelations come at a time when Mr Obama is trying to
It is a controversy that threatens to damage the image of
the new administration in both
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