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U.S., Britain accused of operating 'secret prisons' in Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded an explanation after a report indicated U.S. and British military forces operate secret prisons in Afghanistan.

By Ed Adamczyk
U.S., Britain accused of operating 'secret prisons' in Afghanistan
Afghan President Hamid Karzai makes remarks during a press conference with US President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House, January 11, 2013, in Washington, DC. UPI/Mike Theiler | License Photo

KABUL , Afghanistan, April 30 (UPI) -- A report to Afghan President Hamid Karzai alleges military forces of the United States and Britain operate secret prisons in Afghanistan, where inmates are detained without trial.

The report by the Afghan Commission for Prisoner Evaluation claims three detention centers operate at Kandahar airport, while three other exist in Helmand province. Four of the sites, in which Afghan nationals are allegedly detained without any legal proceedings, are run by U.S. forces, while British forces operate the other two.

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In a statement Tuesday, Karzai demanded an explanation from the U.S. and British governments, saying, “Foreign forces do not have the right to operate any detention facilities or imprison any Afghan within Afghanistan.” He referred to the alleged secret prisons as a “violation of Afghanistan’s sovereignty.” U.S. defense officials said the facilities mentioned in the report are generally used as temporary housing for suspected terrorists or criminals before they are transferred to Afghan authorities. Britain’s defense ministry said all “detainees are held at the request of Afghan authorities where there is evidence linking them to criminal activity.”

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