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Afghanistan Teenagers and Children Detained By U.S. Military

Children were a potential threat because they were used by the Taliban to assist in attacks against coalition forces, Marion Carrington said. Photograph: Adek Berry/AFP

Children were a potential threat because they were used by the Taliban to assist in attacks against coalition forces, Marion Carrington said. Photograph: Adek Berry/AFP

by Amago

The U.S. military has detained more than 200 Afghan teenagers (though some put the number much higher), characterizing them as “enemy combatants,” at a military prison next to the Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. Also, according to the U.S. military, these children/teen detainees have not been charged with any crime.

Are you confused yet? You should be.

Why would someone, especially a juvenile, be sent to prison if they didn’t do anything? Is this similar to the explanation given by senior officer, Marion Carrington, that the US military is on the lookout for children with “potential hostile intent?”

In fact, these Bagram imprisoned children were not held or charged for any particular crime or seemingly even “strategic purposes.” Treated as combatants they have been held without any legal assistance and generally have to defend themselves. Tina N. Foster, executive director for the International Justice Network which represents adult and juvenile Bagram detainees called such proceedings a “sham.”

According to the huffington post,

Foster said that the teens seized are not in uniform or even typically taken in combat.”We’re not talking about battlefield captures, we’re talking about people who are living at home, and four or five brothers might be taken together. It might take them a year or more to figure out that one of them was younger than 18, to determine the identities of these kids,” she said.

This is what happens when we shred our Constitution and disregard international treaties and conventions on the rights of children and prisoners of war.

Here are more facts regarding the treatment of these children :

  1. Some of those detained were children as young as 11 or 12.
  2. Some of these kids were detained for over a year.
  3. The number of 200 is a low estimate.
  4. At the times of the capture, parents explained that their children are under the age of 18, but the U.S. doesn’t allow the detainees or their families to contest their age.
  5. The U.S. State Department was called for comment on the criticism, and a representative said they were “seeking an officer to reply.”
  6. In 2008, the U.S. said it held about 500 juveniles in Iraqi detention centers and then had only about 10 at the Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan when in fact a total of some 2,500 youths had been detained, almost all in Iraq, from 2002 through 2008 under the Bush administration.

The last fact shows that the American public has been lied to before, and so we should ask ourselves: what makes this situation any different?

***************

In other news the UN is launching a probe into drone strikes and whether resultant civilian deaths constitute a war crime:

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has launched an investigation into drone strikes and will review resultant civilian casualties to determine whether the attacks constitute a war crime.

Ben Emmerson, a UN special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, formally launched the inquiry on Thursday, in response to requests from Russia, China and Pakistan.

A statement released by the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights states that the inquiry will provide a “critical examination of the factual evidence concerning civilian casualties”.

It also states that the inquiry ultimately intends to make recommendations to the UN General Assembly to prompt countries to “investigate into the lawfulness and proportionality of such attacks”.

At a press conference on Thursday in London, Emmerson said that the British government had already agreed to co-operate with the investigation and that he was ‘optimistic’ that the US would do the same.

He also requested the US to release ‘before and after’ videos of the drone strikes and internal reports of those killed, including civilians.

Emerson’s team will conduct the inquiry in consultation with military experts and journalists from the UK, Yemen and Pakistan.

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  • Razainc_aka_BigBoss

    Don’t forget about this little article from the military times

    Some Afghan kids aren’t bystanders

    http://militarytimes.com/news/2012/12/marine-taliban-kids-120312w

    The Nation had a good analysis of it

    The US Military Approves Bombing Children

    http://www.thenation.com/blog/171582/us-military-approves-bombing-children

  • Pingback: Afghanistan Teenagers and Children Detained By U.S. Military | Islamophobia Today eNewspaper

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    “Guantana-nino” I think you just coined a new Loonwatchspeak!

  • Tanveer Khan

    WHERE CAN I BUY ONE OF THOSE!!!

  • Nur Alia binti Ahmad

    This is a video on You Tube of an 18 year old woman and child being arrested by the IDF. The IDF is preventing her and her family from cultivating thier trees in the South Hebron hills of the Occupied Palistine.

    I know it is off the topic, but this is what we see in the rest of the world about the west, and those they support.

    We almost understand why this is normal for western forces, and thier proxies and supporters to detain children for no reason.

  • Tanveer Khan

    That and it’s because they are victims of their own mistakes like Shimon Peres thinks Palestinians are victims of their own mistakes. If these afghan children dont want to be arrested then they need to stop looking scary and intimidating. After all the soldiers are only fully grown men and women with guns and choppers and drones and months of training. You have to be considerate to the feelings of the soldiers ya know?

  • Heinz Catsup
  • mindy1

    This is so sad, I do not know why they cannot quickly determine who is and who is NOT dangerous, and let the truly innocent go. As for the drones, if I may play devils advocate and just say that the “grunts on the ground” should not be punished unless the knowingly used false information to choose targets. A bomb cannot tell the innocent from the gulity, so the low people on the ground should not be punished, maybe the higher ups should be.

  • http://twitter.com/CriticalDragon1 CriticalDragon1177

    Maybe, they Could let them play with GITMO! He’s pretty friendly for an innocent person who’s going to be locked up for his whole life.

    Lockup Everyone
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-january-3-2012/lockup-everyone?xrs=playershare_fb

    Guantanamo Baywatch – Taxpayer’s Dime
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-june-12-2012/guantanamo-baywatch

    LOL!

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    This sort of thing gets scant attention in the US from the media, which is still obsessing over a college football player’s fake ex-girlfriend.

  • Nur Alia binti Ahmad

    yes…but they hate you for your freedom.

  • Pingback: Afghanistan Teenagers and Children Detained By U.S. Military | Properganda | Scoop.it

  • Tanveer Khan

    I find that quite funny but then immediately feel guilty. : /

  • khalid roche

    Perhaps the US can set up a new ‘Guantanamo’ specifically for children!? ‘Guantana-nino’!!!

  • http://twitter.com/CriticalDragon1 CriticalDragon1177

    Amago,

    I feel bad for these innocent kids captured and detained by the US military. I also feel really bad for the innocent people who lost friends and family due to our drone strikes.

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