MoI prepared to take full control of Bagram jail
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Interior (MoI) on Monday asserted its readiness to take full control of the Bagram Prison in central Parwan province from Americans and provide inmates with equal facilities.
A Ministry of Interior official said this at a press conference in Kabul a day after President Hamid Karzai praised the performance of the Afghan Review Board tasked with investigating cases of prisoners at the notorious detention centre.
Karzai said the jail’s responsibility would be soon handed over to the MoI. He added the review board had discharged its responsibility with honesty, thanking it for defending Afghans’ rights.
The MoI welcomed the proposed transfer of the entire Bagram Prison to its control, saying it was ready to handle the jail’s affairs in line with the country’s laws.
MoI spokesman Siddiqui Siddique told reporters all jails in Afghanistan were transferred to the ministry’s control in 2012 and the Bagram prison was part of that process.
He said Bagram inmates would have the same facilities enjoyed by those in other prisons. “The MoI is completely ready to accept responsibility for the Bagram prison,” he said, adding the Review Board would work jointly with the MoI on inmate cases.
The Bagram prison was created in 2001 when American troops were deployed to the district north of Kabul, and was handed over to Afghan forces in September 2012.
Human rights groups and government investigators have repeatedly alleged torture, misbehaviour and abuse at the Bagram prison, when controlled by American forces.
On Dec. 30, the Review Board ordered the release of 650 inmates from Bagram, saying they were innocent. But 16 of them, having criminal records, were referred to the Attorney General Office (AGO) for further investigation.
The releases drew strong condemnation from American officials and forces, calling the move as irresponsible and extra-judicial.
The Americans have said some of the inmates released were dangerous and directly involved in attacks on coalition and Afghan forces.
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