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Last Updated: Monday, 14 June, 2004, 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK
US alters Afghan jail procedures
By Charles Haviland
BBC correspondent in Kabul

US forces with a suspected Taleban member in eastern Afghanistan
The US says that some prisoners are 'unlawful combatants'
The United States military says it is altering procedures at its detention centres in Afghanistan after a review of the country's prisons.

A spokesman declined to give details, but said they were being made ahead of the release of an interim report by a top army general.

The review of around 20 US detention centres was ordered last month.

It followed allegations of abuse similar to those which have come to light in Iraq in recent months.

The allegations, made by ex-detainees and organisations such as Human Rights Watch, accuse US forces of using tactics such as sleep deprivation, beatings, sexual abuse and prolonged exposure to cold.

Five deaths in detention are being investigated separately.


The review is being carried out by US General Charles Jacoby, and is due out soon.

But he has been releasing some findings as he goes along.

The US military spokesman in Afghanistan, Lieutenant Colonel Tucker Mansagar, said these were being evaluated and some of them acted upon as they were made known. He would not give further details.

Colonel Mansagar said parts of the full report would be publicised by the beginning of July, although the Americans have already said that details of techniques used on detainees will remain classified.

The detainees have been held in the course of US led efforts to hunt down Taleban and al-Qaeda rebels.

Colonel Mansagar previously said all of them were being treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.

He has however also said that they have no automatic right to such treatment, as the US regards them as unlawful combatants - the phrase also applied to many prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

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