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Report Denounces ‘Gross Errors’ On Afghan Guantanamo Detainees

FILE: A US soldier is silhouetted as he looks on during a media tour of Bagram prison in 2009.
FILE: A US soldier is silhouetted as he looks on during a media tour of Bagram prison in 2009.

Eight Afghans detained in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay have been imprisoned for years on the basis of "vague accusations" rife with "gross errors of fact," according to a new report.

The report, titled Kafka In Cuba, The Afghan Experience In Guantanamo, was published on November 3 by the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), an independent, nonprofit research group.

AAN examined the cases of eight of the longest-serving Afghan detainees, all either still in Guantanamo Bay or recently moved to the United Arab Emirates.

The detainees, including a former flower seller and a doorman, were held over accusations ranging from being a Taliban financier to being a member of an Al-Qaeda bomb-making cell.

But the report said the U.S. military had been unable to substantiate accusations against any of them.

"Reading through the United States military and court documents outlining the allegations and evidence against these eight men, one enters a Kafkaesque world of strange, vague accusations, rife with hearsay, secret evidence, bad translations, gross errors of fact and testimony obtained under duress and torture", it said.

The report said the cases demonstrate the “perilousness of the power to arbitrarily detain,” which in Afghanistan has led to “miscarriages of justice,” a major factor in driving some Afghans toward insurgency.

U.S. President Barack Obama, who had pledged to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay before he leaves office in January, is scaling the facility down by transferring detainees not considered a threat to foreign countries.

Afghans make up more than one-quarter of the 781 men held in the prison.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa