It may not be as bad as the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, but it looks like an American-run detention facility in Afghanistan may be using nasty, and potentially illegal techniques on Afghan suspects. Abu Ghraib, of course, became a synonym for torture back in 2004, when tales of US abuse of prisoners first came to light. Now it seems that Afghanistan has its own prisoner rights issues to contend with – something that doesn’t make it any easier for the United States on the public relations front in Afghanistan. The Open Society Foundations (OSF), a New York-based civil society organization, published a report October 14 that details the practices at a detention facility at Bagram Air Base. Among the abuses that former detainees reported were: exposure to excessive cold; sleep deprivation; disorientation and lack of natural light; inappropriate and inadequate food; and nudity upon arrival. Detainees dubbed the facility “Tor Jail.” (“tor” is the Pashtu word for black). [Editor’s Note: EurasiaNet operates under OSF’s auspices]. The OSF report, titled Confinement Conditions at a US Screening Facility on Bagram Air Base, says an abundance of credible testimony from former detainees raises “genuine areas of concern, not outliers, that run counter to US rules on detainee treatment and the [Obama] administration’s strong public support for Common Article 3 of the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949, which prohibits 'cruel treatment and torture,' and 'outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.'" The report notes that US Defense Secretary Robert Gates in September 2009 put in motion a process designed to overhaul “detention policies and practices in Afghanistan.” The process “holds the potential to reduce Afghan anger toward international military forces and civilian personnel, and to ease international criticism of US detention policies.” Allegations of detainee abuse in late 2009 and into 2010, however, undermine US efforts to reform detainee policies. US officials, citing the classified nature of the Bagram detention facility, “have not publicly responded” to abuse allegations contained in the OSF report. You can read the full report here.