For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

U.S. Night Raids in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON - Based in Afghanistan, Anand Gopal has just published the results of an investigation in TomDispatch.com and The Nation magazine, "America's Secret Afghan Prisons."

ANAND GOPAL

He writes: "Sometime in the last few years, Pashtun villagers in
Afghanistan's rugged heartland began to lose faith in the American
project. Many of them can point to the precise moment of this
transformation, and it usually took place in the dead of the night,
when most of the country was fast asleep. In the secretive U.S.
detentions process, suspects are usually nabbed in the darkness and
then sent to one of a number of detention areas on military bases,
often on the slightest suspicion and without the knowledge of their
families. ..."

Gopal reports on a team of U.S. troops, "most of them tattooed and
bearded," who came at 3 a.m. on Nov. 19, 2009 and broke into the Ghazni
city home of Majidullah Qarar, the spokesman for the Minister of
Agriculture, killing two of his visiting relatives before taking away
Habib-ur-Rahman, a computer programmer and government employee, and
another cousin, to one of the secret detention centers on a nearby U.S.
military base. "After two days, U.S. forces released Rahman's cousin.
But Rahman has not been seen or heard from since."

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

The media landscape is changing fast

Our news team is changing too as we work hard to bring you the news that matters most.

Change is coming. And we've got it covered.

Please donate to our 2019 Mid-Year Campaign today.

Writes Gopal: "Night raids are only the first step in the American
detention process in Afghanistan. Suspects are usually sent to one
among a series of prisons on U.S. military bases around the country.
There are officially nine such jails, called Field Detention Sites in
military parlance. They are small holding areas, often just a clutch of
cells divided by plywood, and are mainly used for prisoner
interrogation.

"In the early years of the war, these were but way stations for
those en route to Bagram prison, a facility with a notorious reputation
for abusive behavior. As a spotlight of international attention fell on
Bagram in recent years, wardens there cleaned up their act and the
mistreatment of prisoners began to shift to the little-noticed Field
Detention Sites.

"Of the 24 former detainees interviewed for this story, 17 claim
to have been abused at or en route to these sites. Doctors, government
officials, and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, a body
tasked with investigating abuse claims, corroborate 12 of these
claims."

Gopal has reported in Afghanistan for the Christian Science
Monitor and the Wall Street Journal. He is currently working on a book
about the Afghan war. The research for this story was supported by the
Fund for Investigative Journalism.

###

We want a more open and sharing world.

That's why our content is free. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported.

All of our original content is published under Creative Commons—allowing (and encouraging) our articles to be republished freely anywhere. In addition to the traffic and reach our content generates on our site, the multiplying impact of our work is huge and growing as our articles flourish across the Internet and are republished by other large and small online and print outlets around the world.

Several times a year we run brief campaigns to ask our readers to pitch in—and thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Our 2019 Mid-Year Campaign is underway. Can you help? We can't do it without you.

Please select a donation method:



A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.

Share This Article

More in: