National

Sep 13, 2009 6:59 AM by Associated Press

US to give Afghan detainees new rights

The Obama administration is preparing new rules that would give U.S.-held prisoners in Afghanistan some due process.

A defense official says the Pentagon is establishing a program to give prisoners at Bagram Air Base a U.S. military official to
serve as their personal representative. They'll get a chance to go before new so-called Detainee Review Boards, to have their cases considered.

The initiative amounts to the first time prisoners will be able to call witnesses and submit evidence in their defense. There are some 600 detainees at the facility, some who have been held for up to six years.

The proposed rules were given to Congress in mid-July for a 60 day review and are expected to be made public this week.

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