U.S. military probing alleged Afghan abuse

Jan. 7, 2010 at 5:51 PM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. military is looking into accusations two Afghan teenagers were beaten and humiliated by guards while in U.S. custody last year, officials say.

The Washington Post reported Thursday Afghan and U.S. officials say the abuse is alleged to have occurred at a secret detention center at Bagram Air Base.

U.S. military officials last month took statements from Issa Mohammad, then 17, and Abdul Rashid, then under 16, who described austere living conditions and rough treatment while being interrogated at the U.S. Special Operations forces facility in early 2009 about their alleged links to the Taliban.

The pair claim they were punched and slapped in the face, photographed naked, and deprived of sleep while being held by the U.S. military in solitary confinement. Rashid also told officials he was forced by his interrogators to look at pornography, the report said.

U.S. military policy prohibits such treatment.

The youths were later transferred to the Afghan-run Juvenile Rehabilitation Center in Kabul, where they were visited by U.S. military officials and Afghan officials from the National Directorate of Security, the country's intelligence agency, the Post said.

Mohammad and Ahmad have since been transferred back to an Afghan adult prison, known as Pul-i-Charkhi.

The Post said it was unclear whether the results of the inquiry into their treatment while in U.S. custody will be publicly released.

The newspaper said it could not reach Bagram Air Base officials for comment.

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