Federal Court Rules Details of Secret Prison in Afghanistan Can Remain Secret

Noel Brinkerhoff

Details about the United States’ largest prison in Afghanistan will remain secret, according to a federal judge’s ruling this week. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) had sought documents from the Department of Defense and the CIA about those held at Bagram Air Base, including information regarding citizenship, length of imprisonment, country where they were captured and circumstances of their capture.

The only key information released by the Pentagon was a list of 645 names of those detained at Bagram as of September 2009.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York not only denied the ACLU’s motion to order the government to release the information sought, but also ruled that the CIA did not act improperly when it refused to even confirm or deny the existence of CIA records about the rendition and interrogation of Bagram detainees.

Although the Obama administration has said it would turn over most of the Bagram prison to the Afghan government next year, it will apparently continue to control part of the prison and its own detainees, including non-Afghan citizens captured outside of Afghanistan.

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