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Former Bagram prisoner lambastes maltreatment by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan


"Languishing in other jails from Kandahar to Kabul the situation was tolerable, but in Bagram prison, in one word, I can say that no human rights had been respected. The detainees were tortured and insulted. It was extremely miserable that some detainees had eaten razor to end their lives given the inhuman treatment of the American soldiers," said former detainee Abdul Qadir Hijran.

"The authorities shifted me from Pul-e-Charkhi jail to Bagram prison which was in Afghan army control but virtually the Americans were the rulers of the prison and they beat me badly," former detainee Abdul Qadir Hijran recalled.

A resident of Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province, 29-year-old Hijran was captured in 2011 in Takht-a-Pul area for fighting the then U.S.-backed administration and the U.S.-led forces. He had been kept in a Kandahar prison for 22 months and was later transferred to the Pul-e-Charkhi central jail in Kabul.

After two years in the Pul-e-Charkhi jail, Hijran was moved to the Bagram prison within the premises of the U.S. military base, 50 km north of Kabul.

Abdul Qadir Hijran, a former Bagram prisoner, speaks during an interview with Xinhua News Agency in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Oct. 13, 2021. (Photo by Sanaullah Seim/Xinhua)

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"My painful life began from here when the American soldiers began torturing me while the prison was at the hands of Afghan forces," Hijran said.

Recalling the ordeal, the former prisoner said the jail authorities  kept 34 inmates in a cage-like room where the inmates used to live without blankets and mattresses, while the room was kept cold by air conditioner round the clock.

"The detainees didn't have enough food and medicines. If any inmate got headache, or stomachache the jail clinic provided him just a pill and nothing more," he said.

"Languishing in other jails from Kandahar to Kabul the situation was tolerable, but in Bagram prison, in one word, I can say that no human rights had been respected. The detainees were tortured and insulted. It was extremely miserable that some detainees had eaten razor to end their lives given the inhuman treatment of the American soldiers," Hajran said.

"I can't explain the torture and ill-treatment they applied to me, but the atrocities they committed would haunt me for years," said the former inmate, adding that the U.S. military did not even allow the detainees to recite Quran, the Muslims holy book, in their cell.

Hijran was freed from the Bagram prison with the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban in mid-August.

Expressing hatred to the war, the former detainee said, "Now is the time for peace and I expect the countries to treat Afghanistan with the sense of neighborhood, justice and co-existence to facilitate Afghans living in peace."

Published : October 22, 2021

By : Xinhua