Demand United States Release or Charge Teenage Detainees in Afghanistan

A US captain is silhouetted as he looks

Target: Obama Administration

Goal: Release or charge teenage detainees from the war in Afghanistan

Over the course of the war in Afghanistan, the United States has held more than 200 teenagers in prison, classifying them as enemy combatants. In some cases, the detainees are held for years until the government can determine the age of the prisoners and whether or not they are actually terrorists. Reports to the United Nations detail how the detainees had to be kept in prison to prevent them from returning to combat, despite many of them not being combatants in the first place.

It has been discovered that most of the teenagers currently being held are around 16 years old. This means many were in their early teens when they were first captured, since many have been held for several years. The United States has been criticized because they don’t allow the families of the combatants to contest their age, making the process slow for our government to decide who should be kept and who should be released.

Tell the United States that we should not be holding teenagers in detention centers without charging them for crimes. While being held, these children have almost no rights to their name. In addition, because they are not charged with any specific crime, they are provided no legal assistance. Tell our government to make sure these children are given the rights they deserve, and work hard to release every one of them with no ties to hostile enemy groups.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Obama Administration,

Currently, our government is holding over 200 teenagers in an Afghanistan prison camp. In some cases, these children have been held for several years, some since they were in their early teen. In many cases, little to no work has been done to find out if these teenagers are actual combatants.

With the war winding down, and control being passed to the Afghan military, it is time to release these children. Many have been held without legal assistance. In addition, most of them were captured and taken from their homes in noncombat situations. This means many of them are being held with no rights even when they may be innocent.

Please make releasing these detainees a priority. Work needs to be done to assist those who are innocent. In addition, if they are going to be continue to be held they need to be charged with something so they have the same rights as other accused criminals.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Massoud Hossaini

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