May 29, 2013
Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, has confirmed that dozens of people are being detained by British forces at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan following allegations that the army is running a secret detention facility at the base.
Hammond said 80 or 90 people were being held at the site. He said many of them posed a danger to British troops, and reiterated that they could not yet be handed over to Afghan authorities because of concerns that they would be mistreated.
UK lawyers acting for eight of the men, some of whom they say have been held for up to 14 months without charge, have launched habeas corpus applications in the UK high court in a bid to free them, raising comparisons with the outrage over the Guantánamo Bay prison camp.
Many of the prisoners have not been able to see a lawyer after months in prison, a basic right offered to anyone arrested in the UK. Access to a lawyer was among the first rights that Guantánamo detainees won off the US government. The Afghan detainees have also not been given any kind of trial date, or prospect of one.
This article was posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 5:15 am