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BTL:Human Rights Group Charges U.S. is Abusing Prisoners in Afghanistan

Interview with John Sifton, researcher with the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch, conducted Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Human Rights Group Charges U.S. is Abusing Prisoners in Afghanistan

Interview with John Sifton, researcher with the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch, conducted Scott Harris

Upon their release from detention on the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, several British citizens captured in Afghanistan by American forces have alleged that they were subjected to abuse and psychological torture. According to accounts published in the British press, prisoners at Guantanamo's Camp X-Ray and Camp Delta -- held without due process -- were regularly beaten, lived in cages exposed to the elements and were fed a diet of foul water and food.

While many of these allegations have been covered in the U.S. media, receiving less attention are the conditions under which an undetermined number of prisoners are now being held by American forces in Afghanistan. An investigation conducted by Human Rights Watch concluded that the U.S. administered system of arrest and detention in Afghanistan exists outside of the rule of law. In a recently published report, Human Rights Watch charges that compelling evidence suggests that U.S. personnel have committed acts against detainees amounting to torture or cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment. Three detainees are known to have died while in American custody, two of which were classified as homicides by U.S. pathologists.

In addition, Human Rights Watch says that the U.S. military has arbitrarily detained civilians and used excessive force during arrests of non-combatants. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with John Sifton, a researcher with the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch, who summarizes his group's investigation into the situation in Afghanistan.

To get more information on the Human Rights Watch report titled, "Enduring Freedom: Abuses by U.S. Forces in Afghanistan," call the group at (212) 290-4700 or visit their website at www.hrw.org

Related links:

"My Hell in Camp X-Ray," by Rosa Prince and Gary Jones, The Mirror UK, March 12, 2004

"The Torture Files," by Ben Ehrenreich, LA Weekly, Feb. 6-12, 2004

"As U.S. Detains Iraqis, Families Plead for News," by Jeffrey Gettleman, The New York Times, March 7, 2004

To LISTEN to this or other programs, visit the Between the Lines website at www.btlonline.org
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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media.
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"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
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For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at) lists.riseup.net
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©2004 Squeaky Wheel Productions. All Rights Reserved.
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