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Human Rights Watch Seeks Access to Afghan Detainees

14 Feb 2002


Human Rights Watch Seeks Access to Afghan Detainees
Visits to Afghanistan Camps Sought
(New York, February 12, 2002) Human Rights Watch asked Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for access to U.S. facilities in Afghanistan to investigate the conditions under which detainees are being held by U.S. armed forces.

Related Material

Human Rights Watch Seeks Access to Afghan Detainees
HRW Letter, February 12, 2002

U.S.: Bush Errs in Geneva Convention Rules
Press Release, February 7, 2002

In a letter to Secretary Rumsfeld sent today, Human Rights Watch asserted that it was in the U.S. interest to have the public informed about the detainees' treatment. The Bush Administration has pledged to treat all detainees humanely, recognizing that failing to do so would jeopardize American servicemen and the credibility of any future American efforts to insist that other governments treat detainees properly.

"The public needs to see for itself if the U.S. is living up to its commitments," said Jamie Fellner, Director of the U.S. Program for Human Rights Watch. "It's time to pierce the veil of secrecy surrounding the camps in Afghanistan."

Human Rights Watch reminded Secretary Rumsefled of his pledge to bring "transparency" to the U.S. treatment of detainees. No independent human rights group that can publicly comment on detainees' conditions of confinement has yet visited the U.S. facilities in Afghanistan or Cuba where detainees are being held. While the International Committee of the Red Cross has visited the facilities, it does not release its findings to the public.

The Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia was formed in 1993 to combat rising religious intolerance in South Asia and to campaign for peace and justice in the region. We are committed to working towards a just, non-violent resolution of the crisis we are currently living through. If you are interested in joining us in this work, please call 617-983-3934 or e-mail

22 Sep 2007

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