The United States has finally confirmed the presence of secret prisons in Afghanistan, where detainees are interrogated for weeks without being charge.
Afghans are held captive for up to nine weeks in secret US detention facilities, depending on the value of information they produce, and are tortured by American prison guards, according to US officials who revealed details of the detention network to The Associated Press.
The most secretive network of jails is based at the notorious US-run Bagram prison camp and airbase in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Parwan.
The secret jail in Bagram, which is the principle air base for US forces currently stationed in Afghanistan, is run by the Joint Special Operations Command. The force is the US military’s most elite counter-terrorism unit.
According to a report issued by the US-based Open Society Foundation in October 2010, former detainees said they were abused, deprived of sleep, held in cold isolation cells and prevented from observing religious rituals while held captive in the hidden facility at Bagram.
Over 800 detainees are being held at Bagram, which became a symbol of prisoner abuse after US troops beat two detainees to death in 2002.
The International Committee of the Red Cross had earlier confirmed reports on the existence of a secret detention facility at the US airbase in Bagram.
The Red Cross said in May 2010 that it had been informed of names of several detainees held in the hidden prison in Afghanistan.
Several former prisoners asserted earlier in April that they were held at the facility, where they suffered abuse.
Human rights groups say Bagram has remained a US torture center since the toppling of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan ten years ago.