July 21, 2009

July 20, 2009 BBC World:

Concerns about recruitment by the Taliban within local prisons are among the issues being addressed in a major review of US detention policy.

Reform of the US-run Bagram air base is said to be a key plank of the review, which has not yet been released.

Last month the BBC uncovered widespread allegations of abuse at the facility.

The BBC spoke to 27 ex-inmates around the country over two months, most of whom alleged they had been beaten, deprived of sleep and threatened with dogs at Bagram.

In 2002, two Afghan detainees died after being repeatedly struck by American personnel.

Prisoners at the controversial facility are currently refusing privileges available to them, as part of a protest about their basic rights.

Bagram is the main prison for people detained by US forces in Afghanistan. Most detainees there have been arrested on suspicion of militancy - the US considers them "unlawful combatants" who can be detained indefinitely.

Extremists separated

Pentagon officials confirmed the existence of the review, which is being conducted against the background of allegations of abuse at Bagram.

Among the issues being considered, US officials are concerned at how Afghan authorities treat detainees and are seeking to build up a viable judicial network in Afghanistan.

The review was conducted by US marine commander Maj Gen Douglas M Stone, the New York Times reported on Monday. He is widely credited with transforming American detention practices in Iraq.

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