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Saturday, January 16, 2010

US releases names of Bagram detainees
Bhargav Katikaneni at 10:36 AM ET

[JURIST] US Department of Defense officials Friday released [BBC report] the names of prisoners held at Bagram Air Base [JURIST archive] in Afghanistan, in response to a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) [text] request filed [materials; JURIST report] by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] last year. The list [text, PDF], containing the names of 645 prisoners, several of whose last names were listed as unknown, was heavily redacted, omitting some requested information [ACLU press release] about the prisoners, such as citizenship, date of capture, and circumstances of capture. 5 U.S.C 552(b)(1)-(2) [text] allows withholding of information in compliance with an executive order or because requested information details the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency.

Last week, Afghan officials signed [JURIST report] a memorandum of understanding to delineate the process under which they will eventually take over the Bagram detention facility. The transfer of responsibility is expected within six months. Meanwhile, Afghan courts have already been prosecuting [JURIST report] some of the prisoners held at Bagram. A McClathy newspapers [JURIST report] investigative report [McClatchy report; JURIST report] alleged that many of the prisoners held at Bagram were civilians who were arrested based on false information. Prisoners at Bagram have launched habeas corpus challenges [JURIST report] in US courts but thusfar have been less successful than those held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST report].

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