US transfers 4 Gitmo detainees to Kabul
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Pentagon on Saturday announced handing over to Kabul four Afghan detainees held for over a decade at the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.
Shawali Khan, Ali Gul, Abdul Ghani and Mohammed Zahir were transferred to the Afghan government’s control in compliance with President Barrack Obama’s directives.
Under the executive order of Jan. 22, 2009, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of the case. As a result, these men’s handover was unanimously approved.
“In accordance with statutory requirements, the secretary of defense informed Congress of the US intent to transfer these individuals and of his determination that this transfer meets the statutory standard,” a Pentagon statement said.
The US praised Afghanistan for its willingness to support ongoing Obama administration’s efforts to close the detention facility. The men have already been flown to Kabul aboard a US military plane.
Obama promised to shut the prison when he assumed office about six years ago. He said running of the jail was harming America's international image. But the promise has not been kept so far.
Gul, 51, was arrested in 2002 and accused of being a Taliban intelligence officer. Ghani, 42, was captured in 2002 as a suspected member of a Taliban-linked faction.
Zahir, 61, was arrested in 2003 on the charge of helping Taliban with weapons caches.
A source in the High Peace Council said the individuals would be reunited with their families after certain formalities were met. He said the peace body had sought the early transfer of all remaining prisoners.
Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Kabul said in a statement it had "full confidence in the Afghan government's ability to mitigate any threats these individuals may pose and to ensure that they are given humane treatment."
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