Friday, April 8, 2011

Terror Suspects Held in Secret

The Associate Press reports that while so-called "Black Sites" may be gone, "suspected terrorists are still being held under hazy circumstances with uncertain rights in secret, military-run jails across Afghanistan, where they can be interrogated for weeks without charge, according to U.S. officials who revealed details of the top-secret network."  The military describes these sites as temporary holding facilities with the purpose of gathering intelligence.  Apparently the policy only allows the suspects to be held in these sites for 14 days unless there are extraordinary circumstances.  It is unclear how many people are being held in these holding facilities at any given time.  The article states that, "More than a dozen former detainees claimed they were menaced and held for weeks at the Joint Special Operations Command site last year, forced to strip naked, then kept in solitary confinement in windowless, often cold cells with lights on 24 hours a day, according to Daphne Eviatar of the group Human Rights First, which interviewed them in Afghanistan."  Eviatar goes on to say that there's a disturbing pattern of using fear and humiliation to soften up the suspects before interrogation.