One of the first victims of US torture is now missing in Afghanistan

One of the first victims of US torture is now missing in Afghanistan

December 13, 2014
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FILE - In this March 23, 2011 file photograph, an Afghan detainee is seen through iron mesh inside the Parwan detention facility near Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan. Afghan and U.S. military officials have signed a deal to transfer oversight of the main U.S. detention center in the country to the Afghan government within six months. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin, File)

On the same day a Senate committee released its report detailing a decade of abuse within the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, a man cited in the report as one of the first people subjected to the agency’s torture techniques was released from the detention center at Bagram Airfield, near Kabul, into Afghan custody.

Redha al-Najar, a Tunisian man identified by the CIA as a former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden, was handed over to the Afghans on Tuesday, but his whereabouts and condition remain unknown, one of his lawyers told VICE News.

Al-Najar, 49, who is described in the CIA report as “clearly a broken man” and “on the verge of complete breakdown,” was never charged, was not a prisoner of war, and never had his day in court, his lawyer said — but the US government is scheduled to respond soon to ongoing litigation about his treatment in case that has now reached the Supreme Court.

“We found out that he’d been released the day after the Senate report was released and we were told he’d been released from Bagram to Afghan custody the day before,” Caitlin Steinke, an attorney with the International Justice Network, told VICE News. “We don’t think it was a coincidence.”

[keep reading at VICE News]


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