US Seeks Prison Reform in Afghanistan

NEW YORK (RPRN) 7/20/2009–A major newspaper reports that a U.S. military review has called for the overhauling of the troubled U.S.-run Bagram prison in Afghanistan, as well as the country’s entire jail and judicial systems.

The New York Times says officials are concerned that abuses and militant recruiting within prisons are helping to strengthen the Taliban.

The newspaper says the review recommends separating extremist militants from more moderate detainees.  Both groups are currently housed together.

The review also reportedly recommends that the less extreme detainees should be taught vocational skills, and classes in moderate Islam to help reintegrate them into society.

The paper says Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen has sent a confidential memo to military service chiefs telling them to make sure the troops know the importance of treating detainees properly.

The Times says it has talked to two officials who have either read or been briefed on the not-yet-public review.

The military review was written by Marine Major General Douglas Stone who is credited with the revamping of American detention practices in Iraq.

Photo credit: Afghan Prison, courtesy of Monsters and Critics.

Under the new system, the U.S. would help fund and construct an Afghan-run prison to hold extremists.

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