In February 2011, HRF interviewed former detainees who had been imprisoned by the U.S. military at the Bagram detention center in Afghanistan and released within the previous year. Below are the summaries and edited transcripts of their interviews. All interviews were conducted with the assistance of a translator.
- Arrested by U.S. forces in June 2009
- Accused of supporting the Taliban.
- Claims a neighbor falsely reported him to U.S. forces due to a land dispute.
- Imprisoned at Bagram for a year before allowed to bring relatives to testify at a hearing on his behalf and documents to confirm the land dispute.
- Released in July 2010, after his third hearing at Bagram.
“People say Americans are very clever people because now they have control of most of the world, and they can go even into space. But why they are being deceived by false intelligence or false reports of some stupid or foolish individuals?”
- Arrested by U.S. forces in the winter of 2010 in his home.
- Taken into custody after two AK-47s were found in his home.
- Explained the guns, common in border areas of Afghanistan, were for self-defense due to a long-standing feud between families.
- Accused of supporting the Taliban, but never shown any evidence.
- Transferred to an Afghan prison seven months later, without explanation.
- Released 25 days later, again without explanation.
“Most of the people detained, they are detained based on these personal feuds. Like 20 percent of them might be criminals, these are bad people. But 80 percent are just people arrested due to false intelligence.”
- Arrested following a night raid on his home in 2009
- Imprisoned for 14 months at Bagram without charge or trial.
- Accused of owning weapons that he says belonged to his cousins.
- U.S. government never presented evidence that these were his weapons.
- Released in late 2010 after his relatives testified at a hearing at Bagram that T. was a poor man who did not own any weapons.
“One interrogator was telling me, ‘you have not done anything wrong, but just tell us who are the bad guys in the area.’ When I said there were no bad guys in my village, he said I would be detained for life. They wanted me to work for them and point out the bad guys.”
- Arrested by U.S. authorities in 2003.
- Imprisoned for seven years by U.S. military without charge or trial.
- Had no hearing in the first six years of captivity.
- His first and only hearing, in 2010, lasted about five minutes.
- P.K. was assigned a “personal representative” from the U.S. military, but no one presented any evidence his hearing.
- Transferred from Bagram prison last year to Afghan authorities.
- Released two months later without explanation.
P.K.: “My personal representative didn’t talk about any evidence. He was in the hearing, but he didn’t say anything.”
- Arrested by U.S. forces in 2009.
- Imprisoned for more than nine months at Bagram without charge or trial
- Never shown any evidence against him.
- Claims his grain was destroyed when soldiers searched his home, but he was never compensated.
- Released in 2010 without explanation.
“There was no apology, no compensation at all. I told them that you guys destroyed my grain, I had big losses. But nobody cared.”