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The Other American Gulag: Bagram Prison's Legal Black Hole Locks Detainees in Nightmarish Limbo

Is Bagram Prison about to become the next Guantanamo?

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During the US-Afghanistan war, Bagram was the site of several high-profile scandals over the torture and abuse of prisoners, with two detainees beaten to death in 2002. The prison may be less famous in the West, but there can be no doubt that its continued presence is having a devastating effect on America’s already tarnished image in the Middle East and South Asia.

“In Afghanistan, Bagram has long symbolized the US occupation and its excesses,” says Belhadi. “Torture, Qur’an burning, and administrative detention is what Afghans remember Bagram for. It is yet another example of the United States ready to trample basic human rights to achieve short-sighted political goals.”

Obama has focused his energies on ending George W Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but while these prisons remain open, it will be impossible to consign these injustices to the past.

Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist based in London who tweets at @samirashackle.
 
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