US Slams Afghan Decision to Not Indefinitely Hold Bagram Prisoners as 'Step Backward in Rule of Law'
U.S. military forces on Monday slammed Afghanistan’s decision to release from the notorious Bagram prison 37 prisoners for whom there is “no incriminating evidence” as a “major step backward in… the rule of law.”
The 37 are among a group of 88 men detained without trial at “the other Guantanamo” whom Afghanistan has slated for release but that the U.S. insists are dangerous and linked to violent acts.
The head of the Afghan Review Board (ARB) previously denied the U.S. assessment that the 88 men were dangerous threats. “In many cases, detainees were wrongly linked to certain incidents they were not involved in,” said ARB head Abdul Shakor Dadras. Investigations led by the office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai found evidence against just 16 of the men.
“We cannot allow innocent Afghan citizens to be kept in detention for months and years without a trial, for no reason at all,” said Aimal Faizi, Karzai’s spokesman. “We know that unfortunately this has been happening at Bagram, but it is illegal and a violation of Afghan sovereignty.”
A statement released Monday by United States Forces-Afghanistan condemned the decision to release the men, saying they are “dangerous insurgents who have Afghan blood on their hands” and “legitimate threats to security and for whom there is strong evidence or investigative leads supporting prosecution or further investigation.”
USFOR-A’s statement specifies: “Of the 88 detainees under dispute, 40 percent have participated in direct attacks wounding or killing 57 Afghan citizens and security force members and 30 percent participated in direct attacks wounding or killing 60 U.S. or coalition force members.”
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT