Detained Afghans 'suspected of serious crimes'

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Lawyers acting for a group of Afghans - being held without charge by British forces at a facility in Camp Bastion - have claimed that up to 85 Afghan nationals are being kept at the site, in what could amount to unlawful detention and internment.

Speaking to the Today programme, Phil Shiner, a solicitor for eight of the detainees told presenter Evan Davis the site was a "secret facility" and was "entirely unconstitutional".

The Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, said that Mr Shiner himself had made it more difficult for the detainees' cases to be resolved.

"What Mr Shiner didn't tell you was that last year his firm started proceedings against the department precisely to prevent us handing them over to the Afghan judicial authorities because of concerns about treatment within the Afghan system," he explained.

"What we've been doing since then is working with the Afghans and other allies within Afghanistan to develop a safe pathway for the transfer of these detainees into the Afghan judicial system," he added.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Wednesday 29 May 2013.

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