The U.S. announced Thursday that it has closed the Bagram detention facility in Afganistan.
Washington handed over its last two Tunisian prisoners, Redha al-Najar and Lutfi al-Arbai al-Gharisi, who were both mentioned in the recently-released Senate intelligence committee's torture report, to Afghan authorities a day after the report revealed the horrifying abuses against detainees since 9/11. The U.S. now claims it "no longer operates detention facilities in Afghanistan nor maintains custody of any detainees"
Al-Najar and al-Gharisi have been in CIA custody since early 2002. Tina Foster, the lawyer for al-Najar, said that he was one of the first detainees to have endured the CIA's “enhanced interrogation techniques.” She also said that her client was turned over to Afghani custody a week before the deadline for the U.S. government to file a response to the U.S. Supreme Court about his treatment.
The transfer of the detainees was not scheduled to go into effect until January 1, 2015. However, the Defense Department said that closing the Bagram prison was "not linked to the release of the Senate committee report on detention and interrogation," but could not say why the U.S. was closing the prison three weeks early.
Bagram Airfield, north of Kabul, previously held hundreds of prisoners. In the past few weeks, the U.S. has been busy moving detainees out of U.S. custody.
A U.S. court ruled that two detainees had been beaten to death in 2002 in the Afghan prison.
NATO and the U.S. officially ended their combat mission in Afghanistan Monday, but at least 13,000 troops will remain in the country in 2015.