Military Review Calls for Overhaul of Bagram Prison
A U.S. military review has called for overhauling the troubled U.S.-run Bagram prison in Afghanistan because U.S. officials are concerned that abuses and militant recruiting within local prisons are helping strengthen the Taliban, The New York Times reported.
Citing unnamed officials, the newspaper said that Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has sent a confidential message to all of the military service chiefs asking them to redouble their efforts to alert troops to the importance of treating detainees properly.
The Bagram prison at an air base north of Kabul has become a holding site for terrorism suspects captured outside Afghanistan and Iraq.
Marine Major General Douglas Stone, credited with revamping U.S. detention practices in Iraq, was assigned to review all detention issues in Afghanistan, according to the report.
General Stone’s report, which has not been made public but is circulating among senior US officers, recommends separating extremist militants from more moderate detainees instead of having them mixed together as they are now, the paper said.
The United States is also to help build and finance a new Afghan-run prison for the hard-core extremists who are now held in the poorly run Afghan corrections system and use it to covert common criminals into militants, The Times said.
The remaining inmates would be taught vocational skills and offered other classes, according to the report.
They also would be taught about moderate Islam with the aim of reintegrating them into society, the paper said.
The review also presses for training new Afghan prison guards, prosecutors and judges.