Monday, September 14, 2009

Pentagon: Afghan Detention Facility to Implement Case Reviews

News in Balance

News in Balance:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14, 2009 -- The U.S. military-managed detention facility in Bagram, Afghanistan, is slated to implement detention review boards similar to those that have been employed in Iraq, a senior Defense Department official said here today.

"This is an additional process that we have added into our operations there at Bagram," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters.

The Defense Department-sponsored initiative has been in the works for months, Whitman said. The process is a way to review every detainee's case periodically, he explained.

"You don't want to be holding people any longer than you need to be holding them," he said. The Bagram facility, he noted, holds about 600 people.

Under the program, detainees would undergo a case review within 60 days of being incarcerated, Whitman said, with further reviews occurring every six months or so. U.S. military members, he added, are assigned as personal representatives to assist detainees during the review process.

Through the application of the detainee-case review process in Iraq, Whitman said, officials "were able to reduce the detention population by having these reviews to ensure that we were only holding the most dangerous individuals that we needed to."

(Report by Gerry J. Gilmore, American Forces Press Service.)

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