FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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NEW YORK – In response to an American Civil Liberties Union Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the Defense Department today released a list of the people imprisoned at the notorious Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Until today, the Defense Department had refused to make the list public. The list contains the names of 645 prisoners who were detained at Bagram in September 2009, but other vital information including their citizenship, how long they have been held, in what country they were captured and the circumstances of their capture has been redacted.
The ACLU filed the FOIA lawsuit in September 2009, seeking the disclosure of documents related to the detention and treatment of prisoners at Bagram. In addition to a list of vital information about detainees being held there, the lawsuit seeks records relating to the rules and agreements that govern the facility and documents pertaining to the conditions of confinement and status review process afforded prisoners.
The following can be attributed to Melissa Goodman, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project:
“Releasing the names of those held at Bagram is an important step toward transparency and accountability at the secretive Bagram prison, but it is just a first step. Hundreds of people have languished at Bagram for years in horrid and abusive conditions, without even being told why they’re detained or given a fair chance to argue for release. The information the government continues to withhold, however, is just as vital as the names of prisoners. Full transparency and accountability about Bagram requires disclosing how long these people have been imprisoned, where they are from and whether they were captured far from any battlefield or in other countries far from Afghanistan.
“The public has long been kept in the dark about what goes on at Bagram. It is time to shine a bright light on the secretive prison.”
The list is available online at: