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Afghanistan: Bagram Prison

Volume 715: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they exercise control over those detained or interrogated at the Bagram prison site in Afghanistan; and whether NATO is kept informed of their presence. [HL458]

The issue of detainees at Bagram is a matter for the US and Afghan Governments as the Bagram facility is a US facility.

Detentions operations are absolutely vital when conducting counterinsurgency campaigns. The ability to detain suspect insurgents is essential for operational effectiveness in Afghanistan. Counterinsurgency work is vital to international efforts to bring stability to Afghanistan. The US plays a key role in this work.

In the case of UK detention operations in Afghanistan, detainees are held in accordance with ISAF guidelines for a maximum of 96 hours and then transferred to the Afghan authorities or released. In exceptional circumstances, and with ministerial authorisation, detention can be extended to allow for gathering intelligence that is vital for the protection of UK forces and Afghan nationals. The UK is clear that all detainees should be treated humanely.