What Specific Security Assurances Does the Obama Administration Want?

Persons detained by the U.S. at the Detention Facility in Parwan (DFIP), also known as Bagram, may pose a continuing threat to our security. But the nature of that threat, and how the U.S. plans to mitigate it past 2014, are unknown. Before the U.S. repatriates detainees, it requires security assurances from the host nation. The specifics of the security assurances are largely unknown, and likely changing. But they may be a deciding factor in determining whether the U.S. is <Read More>

US Detainee Transfers: What Responsibilities Does the US Have When Presented with the Risk of Torture in Afghan Prisons?

As recently reported by Mike Yang Zhang,[1] a United Nations report released on January 20, 2013 revealed “systematic torture” in many Afghan-controlled detention facilities.[2] Shortly after the U.N. report was released, a delegation was assigned by President Karzai to investigate the allegations of torture.[3] After a two-week investigation, the government panel “acknowledged widespread torture of detainees.”[4] The U.N. report proposed recommendations for eliminating these instances of torture, not only to the government of Afghanistan, but also to “Troop Contributing Countries.”[5] <Read More>

Systematic Torture Continuing in Afghanistan

According to a United Nations report released on January 20, 2013, systematic torture remains a serious concern in many Afghan-controlled detention facilities, despite “concerted efforts” and “sustained support” by international partners and the Afghan Government to “root out torture and abusive detention practices.”[1]

The 139-page report, compiled by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), finds that “more than half of 635 detainees interviewed (326 detainees) experienced torture and ill-treatment in numerous facilities of the <Read More>

Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs v. Rahmatullah

In October, 2012 the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom considered whether a detainee captured by British troops and handed over to the military forces of the United States in Iraq may be returned by habeas writ to the U.K.[1] The detainee could not be produced by writ of habeas corpus, the court concluded, as the U.K. no longer exercised sufficient control over the prisoner.[2]

In 2004, British forces detained Yunus Rahmatullah, a Pakistani citizen, in a region <Read More>

When Are Afghan Detainees Captured After March 9, 2012 Being Transferred? Part II

Part II- The U.S. Point of View and Multiple Interpretations of the MoU

In Part I, I discussed the signing of the MoU and the response of Afghan officials to the issue of detainees captured after March 9, 2012. Now, let us turn to the position of U.S. and allied officials.  The fact is that the U.S. continues to “process a steady stream of prisoners caught in night raids,”[1] and the U.S. <Read More>