72 prisoners released from Herat jail
HEART CITY (PAN): Seventy-two prisoners, including four women, have been released from the central jail in western Herat province in compliance with a presidential decree, an official said on Wednesday.
The inmates were pardoned in light of the decree issued on the occasion of Eidul Adha, according to Gen Abdul Baqi Behsodi, head of Herat prisons.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News those released included political prisoners, a reference to insurgents, and criminals.
One of the beneficiaries, Inayatullah, 33, said he had been kept in a small and overcrowded cell. He complained inmates were offered unhealthy food and alleged gambling and use of drugs had become a common practice inside the jail.
The releases come a month after dozens of prisoners at the facility went on hunger strike in protest against poor living conditions and delays in deciding their cases.
Mullah Fazal Haq, another released prisoner, said he spent 11 months in the jail without having committed any crime.
“We were arrested on the charge of keeping illegal weapons, which we have bought from Afghan security forces, who the same day returned and arrested us,” he said, accusing Afghan forces of fleecing people.
Gen. Behsodi confirmed the problem of capacity shortage, but said food in the jail had no problem.
He added the central jail had been built 50 years ago for 800 prisoners, but currently 3,000 prisoners were being held there.
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