The New York Times reported Saturday that two Afghan prisoners held in U.S.
custody in Afghanistan in 2002 died after being chained up, kicked and beaten
by American soldiers.
The newspaper cited Army criminal investigative reports obtained by Human Rights
Watch that have not yet been made public.
One soldier, Pfc. Willie V. Brand, was charged with manslaughter in a closed
hearing last month in Texas in connection with one of the deaths in Afghanistan,
another Army document showed.
Brand, who acknowledged striking a detainee named Dilawar 37 times, was accused
of killing him after maiming him over a five-day period by "destroying
his leg muscle tissue with repeated unlawful knee strikes," according to
The attacks on Dilawar were so severe that "even if he had survived, both
legs would have had to be amputated," the Army report said, citing a medical
The reports provide the first official account of events that led to the death
of Dilawar and another detainee, Mullah Habibullah, at the Bagram Control Point
The deaths occurred nearly a year before the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in
Iraq became public knowledge.
The reports, from the Army Criminal Investigation Command, also make clear
that the abuse at Bagram went far beyond the two killings, the Times said.
Among those recommended for prosecution is an Army military interrogator who
is said to have "placed his penis along the face" of one Afghan detainee
and later to have "simulated anally sodomizing him (over his clothes)."
The Army reports cited "credible information" that four military
interrogators assaulted Dilawar and another Afghan prisoner with "kicks
to the groin and leg, shoving or slamming him into walls/table, forcing the
detainee to maintain painful, contorted body positions during interview and
forcing water into his mouth until he could not breathe."
U.S. military officials in Afghanistan initially said the deaths of Habibullah,
in an isolation cell on Dec. 4, 2002, and Dilawar, in another such cell six
days later, were from natural causes.
But after an investigation, the Army acknowledged the deaths were homicide,
The New York Times said.