Two US soldiers charged with assaulting detainees in Afghanistan

[JURIST] Two US soldiers have been charged [US DOD press release] with assault, conspiracy to maltreat, and dereliction of duty for allegedly punching two detainees in the chest, shoulders and stomach at a base detention site in southern Afghanistan in early July. The alleged assault did not require medical attention for either detainee. One of the detainees has since been released, while the other was transferred to Bagram, the US military headquarters in Afghanistan. US Army Brigadier General Jack Sterling, deputy commanding general for support of Combined Joint Task Force 76 [official website], stated “[t]he command remains committed to investigate all allegations of misconduct and will hold individuals responsible for their actions consistent with U.S. military law.” The two US soldiers are members of the 926th Engineers Battalion, a reserve unit from Alabama that is still deployed. If court-martialed, their trial will commence at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan. The charges announcement Sunday came just ten days after the military began investigating [JURIST report] television footage apparently showing a group of US soldiers burning the bodies of two dead Taliban rebels. In addition, 15 US soldiers have been charged for the death of two Afghan detainees at Bagram after beatings in 2002. AP has more.



 

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