Conflict & Justice

Inside U.S. prison in Bagram

The journalist is a slender young man who speaks in rapid fire English. He has worked as a journalist and a translator and camerman for international journalist and prized for his contacts in the south. Last year, those contacts got him into trouble, and he was eventually arrested. He says he was kicked and beaten, and then held in a cell under a catwalk where a guard above shouted to keep him awake. Then he was told he was going to Guantanamo Bay. He then realized he was brought to Bagram and not Guantanamo. But he was first told to stand on snow for six hours without any socks or shoes before going into the prison. For the next 11 months, the journalist lived among hundreds of Afghan, Pakistani and other Arab prisoners and he was interrogated regularly about his connections with the Taliban. He said he only had connections as a journalist. He was not physically abused by guards at Bagram but said the wardens used tear gas to subdue prisoners and that he saw guards through the Koran on the floor. His worst punishment came after a story about his jailing appears in the New York Times some months ago, and he was sent to something called a death cell where they leave the most high risk people. He was beaten there by detainees. A U.S. spokesman says there is no evidence to confirm the journalist's claims of abuse. With no suggestion of a trial, the journalist says he began to lose hope and thought he would be kept here forever. That changed when the U.S. military began a program which allowed inmates to talk to their family members by video phone conference, and his brother told him that foreign lawyers were hired to work on his case. The journalist says he can't forget the U.S. military for what they've done.

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