US Army report details Afghan detainees abuse: NY Times
WASHINGTON: A confidential United States Army report contains graphic details of detainee abuse in Afghanistan carried out by “young and poorly trained soldiers” in 2002, reported The New York Times on Friday.
The abuse, along with details about the deaths of two inmates at the Bagram detention centre, emerged from a nearly 2,000-page file of the Army’s criminal investigation into the case, said the newspaper. It said it had obtained a copy of the file from a person involved in the investigation who was critical of the methods used at Bagram and the military’s response to the deaths.
The report revolves around the death of 22-year-old taxi driver Dilawar and that of another detainee Habibullah who died at Bagram six days earlier in December 2002. According to the report, Dilawar was chained by his wrists to the top of his cell for several days before he died and his legs had been pummelled by guards.
“The file depicts young and poorly trained soldiers in repeated incidents of abuse. The harsh treatment, which has resulted in criminal charges against seven soldiers, went well beyond the two deaths,” the newspaper said.
In sworn statements to Army investigators, soldiers described mistreatment ranging from a female interrogator stepping on a detainee’s neck and kicking another in the genitals to a shackled prisoner being made to kiss the boots of interrogators as he rolled back and forth on the floor of a cell, said the newspaper. Another prisoner was made to pick plastic bottle caps out of a drum filled with a mixture of excrement and water to soften him up for interrogation, said the report.
US officials have characterised incidents of prisoner abuse at Bagram in 2002 as isolated problems that were thoroughly investigated, said the newspaper. “What we have learned through the course of all these investigations is that there were people who clearly violated anyone’s standard for humane treatment,” Pentagon spokesman Larry Di Rita told the paper. “We’re finding some cases that were not close calls.” reuters