By ERIC SCHMITT. Published: September 12, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration soon plans to issue new guidelines aimed at giving the hundreds of prisoners at an American detention center in Afghanistan significantly more ability to challenge their custody, Pentagon officials and detainee advocates say.

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Tina Foster, the executive director of the International Justice Network, which is representing four Bagram detainees in a pending court case, expressed deep reservations.

“On paper, it appears [there are] going to be changes that will allow detainees more opportunity to present their side of the story,” Ms. Foster said in a telephone interview. “But I think the procedures are just words on pieces of paper unless someone is there to ensure they’re being followed and the detainee has the ability to understand them and avail themselves of them.”

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