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Monday, July 20, 2009

US 'seeks Afghan prison overhaul'

A US military review is to recommend an overhaul of the entire Afghan prison and judicial systems, the New York Times reports.

It says the report, drawn up by a senior marine commander, highlights concerns about recruitment by the Taliban within local prisons.

The paper says the review, which has not yet been released, also recommends reform of the US-run Bagram air base.

Last month the BBC uncovered widespread allegations of abuse at the facility.

The BBC spoke to 27 ex-inmates around the country over two months, most of whom alleged they had been beaten, deprived of sleep and threatened with dogs at Bagram.

In 2002, two Afghan detainees died after being repeatedly struck by American personnel.

Prisoners at the controversial facility are currently refusing privileges available to them in a protest about their basic rights.

Bagram is the main prison for people detained by US forces in Afghanistan. Most detainees there have been arrested on suspicion of militancy - the US considers them "unlawful combatants" who can be detained indefinitely.