Author Topic: Afghans 'unlawfully held' by UK forces at Camp Bastion  (Read 561 times)

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Offline EC

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Afghans 'unlawfully held' by UK forces at Camp Bastion
« on: May 29, 2013, 03:52:40 AM »
Via the BBC:

British forces are detaining up to 85 Afghan nationals in a holding facility at Camp Bastion, in what could amount to unlawful detention and internment, documents obtained by the BBC suggest.

UK lawyers acting for eight of the men said their clients had been held for up to 14 months without charge.

They compared it to when the public became aware of Guantanamo Bay and want the UK High Court to free them.

The MoD said detentions in Afghanistan were legal under the UN mandate.

Camp Bastion in Helmand province is the largest British military base in Afghanistan, housing nearly 30,000 servicemen and women.

Legal documents seen by the BBC suggest that an estimated 85 suspected insurgents are being held at the base in a temporary holding facility.
'Exceptional circumstances'

British forces in Afghanistan, operating as part of the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), are allowed to detain suspects for 96 hours.

However, in "exceptional circumstances" - for example, to gather critical intelligence to protect lives - they can hold them for longer periods.

The Ministry of Defence has previously said that Isaf neither has the power nor the facilities to intern detainees in Afghanistan.

But nor can the British pass them to the Afghan authorities, after Defence Secretary Philip Hammond imposed a ban on handing over suspects to Afghan forces last November because of fears over ill-treatment.

More at link.

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