Afghan Teenagers Claim Abuse at US Military Prison

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Agence France Presse

Afghan Teenagers Claim Abuse at US Military Prison

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Watchtowers are seen along the perimeter of the Bagram prison, north of Kabul, on November 15. Two Afghan teenagers held in US detention north of Kabul this year said they were beaten by American guards, photographed naked, deprived of sleep and held in solitary confinement in concrete cells, The Washington Post reported late Friday. (AFP/File/Massoud Hossaini)

WASHINGTON - Two Afghan teenagers held in US detention north of Kabul this year said they were beaten by American guards, photographed naked, deprived of sleep and held in solitary confinement in concrete cells, The Washington Post reported late Friday.

The newspaper said the teenagers had been held in these cells for at least two weeks while undergoing daily interrogation about their alleged links to the Taliban.

The accounts could not be independently substantiated, the report said. But in successive, on-the-record interviews, the teenagers presented a detailed, consistent portrait suggesting that the abusive treatment of suspected insurgents has in some cases continued under the administration of President Barack Obama, the paper noted.

Obama has promised to put an end to the harsh interrogation practices authorized by the Bush administration after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

The two teenagers -- Issa Mohammad, 17, and Abdul Rashid, who said he was younger than 16 -- said that they were punched and slapped in the face by their captors during their time at Bagram air base, where they were held in individual cells, according to The Post.

Rashid said his interrogator forced him to look at pornography alongside a photograph of his mother, the report said.

The holding center described by the teenagers appeared to have been a facility run by US Special Operations forces that is separate from the Bagram Theater Internment Facility, the main American-run prison, the paper said.

The teenagers' descriptions of a holding area on a different part of the Bagram base are consistent with the accounts of two other former detainees, who say they endured similar mistreatment, but not beatings, while being held last year at what Afghans call Bagram's "black" prison, The Post noted.

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