Red Cross announces video teleconference system for US Afghan detainees

[JURIST] The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) [organization website] and the US military have installed a video teleconferencing system at Bagram Airbase [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] in Afghanistan to allow detainees held at the base to speak with loved ones, the ICRC said [press release] Monday. The system is available to all detainees at the Bagram facility, some of whom have not seen or have had any verbal contact with family members in five or six years.

The US currently detains between 600 and 650 prisoners at Bagram. The ICRC is pushing the US to allow face-to-face visits between detainees and their family members, which are currently prohibited. In 2006, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed [JURIST report] a habeas corpus petition on behalf of 25 detainees at Bagram seeking to permit detainees to speak with legal counsel, a right not afforded to detainees under the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [PDF text]. AP has more.

 

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