Bagram Air Base, above, in Afghanistan, houses a secret detention camp that inmates call the “black jail” because it is closed to outside groups such as the Red Cross.
Human rights researchers and former detainees agree: Despite its stated goal of improving detention conditions, the U.S. continues to run a secret prison in Afghanistan, a site that holds inmates, sometimes for weeks at a time, without access to outside groups such as the Red Cross. Another such U.S. jail is said to exist in Iraq. —JCL
The New York Times:
An American military detention camp in Afghanistan is still holding inmates for sometimes weeks at a time and without access to the International Committee of the Red Cross, according to human rights researchers and former detainees held at the site on the Bagram Air Base.
The site, known to detainees as the black jail, consists of individual windowless concrete cells, each illuminated by a single light bulb glowing 24 hours a day. Detainees said that their only human contact was at twice-daily interrogation sessions. ...
... The jail’s operation highlights a tension between President Obama’s goal to improve detention conditions that had drawn condemnation under the Bush administration and his stated desire to give military commanders leeway to operate. While Mr. Obama signed an order to eliminate so-called black sites run by the Central Intelligence Agency in January, that order did not apply to this jail, which is run by military Special Operations forces.
Military officials said as recently as this summer that the secret Afghanistan jail and another like it at the Balad Air Base in Iraq were being used to interrogate high-value detainees in isolation. And officials said recently that there were no plans to close the detention centers.