NATO confirms halt to prisoner transfers
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, ISAF spokesman Brig. Gen. Gunter Katz discussed a number of issues, including the ongoing peace process and NATO’s new mission in Afghanistan after 2014.
He also touched on security transition to the Afghan lead, civilian casualties, Kabul-Islamabad border tiffs, Pakistan’s release of Taliban prisoners and President Hamid Karzai’s recent visit to the US.
On Jan. 17, the New York Times reported the US military had suspended sending detainees to some Afghan prisons amid concerns over human rights violations and torture.
It quoted US and NATO officials as saying the process had been shelved on the basis of credible reports regarding inmates’ mistreatment.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, meanwhile, is expected to release tomorrow (Monday) a report on detainees’ torture by Afghan police and intelligence personnel.
Speaking to Pajhwok on Saturday, President Hamid Karzai’s chief spokesman downplayed the halt to prisoner transfers by American troops.
Aimal Faizi said the question of Afghanistan’s sovereignty was more important to the government and the prisoners’ handover was part of it.
He said President Karzai had won an assurance from his US counterpart Barack Obama during his recent visit to Washington on the handover of all inmates to Afghan authorities.
High Peace Council’s Deputy Chairman Abdul Hakim Mujahid, calling for a clear mechanism, urged the Obama administration to honour its commitment on inmate transfers.
With the process put on hold, he suggested, the Karzai government should assure the US that inmates rights were respected by Afghan prison authorities.
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