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Red Cross chief urges US military to allow outside evidence in Afghan detainee hearings

[JURIST] International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Jakob Kellenberger on Monday urged the US military to allow the introduction of outside evidence during enemy combatant review hearings at the Bagram Temporary Internment Facility [JURIST news archive]. Kellenberger, who was in Afghanistan for a seven-day mission to meet with senior Afghan leaders and US military officials, praised US officials for establishing the review boards and allowing video conferencing between detainees and family members [JURIST report], but said that many detainees do not know why they are being held. Detainees are reviewed by the review board every six months. AP has more.

The ICRC is formally entrusted under the Geneva Conventions [ICRC materials] with visiting prisoners of war and inspecting the conditions of their detention. The ICRC in Iraq [ICRC materials] currently has arrangements with US forces allowing access to some 20,000 detainees and with Kurdish authorities to allow visitation with another 1,500 detainees.

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