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US opposes release of 88 dangerous detainees

US opposes release of 88 dangerous detainees

Dec 31, 2013 - 09:56

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Several dangerous individuals posing legitimate threats were among hundreds of prisoners freed from the Bagram detention facility in central Parwan province, a US official said on Tuesday.

A day earlier, a review board investigating prisoner cases announced the release of 650 “innocent” inmates. Abdul Shakoor Dadras, a member of the board, told a news conference the men had been found innocent.

He regretted the illegal imprisonment of the innocent people, saying the victims themselves were unaware as to why they had been put behind bars. They were held without evidence, Dadras added.

Commenting on the board's decision, a US official in Kabul told Pajhwok Afghan News there was strong evidence or investigative leads supporting prosecution or further investigation.

He said 40% of the detainees were involved in direct attacks wounding or killing 57 Afghan citizens and security members and 30 percent participated in assaults wounding or killing 60 US or coalition soldiers.

"We strongly disagree with the release of 88 detainees, (they haven't been released yet, but we are currently disputing them from being released). All of these cases have strong evidence or investigative leads, without processing their cases through the Afghan justice system."

The 88 disputed cases contained strong evidence of crimes or investigative leads requiring review by the Attorney General Office for prosecution or investigation by the Afghan National Directorate of Security, according to the official.

He explained the board had been set up to provide an administrative review of former US Law of Armed Conflict detainees transitioning to the Afghan criminal justice system -- not to adjudicate final guilt or innocence as a court.

"Dadras and the ARB are acting in direct contravention of President Karzai's decree, in which they were charged with taking lawful measures to complete documents of the suspects and prosecute those with charges and release those who are arrested without document or evidence."

He said examples of detainees who have been identified for release include:

Saifullah is a Talibaninfo-icon operative who conducted attacks against CF/ANSFinfo-icon in Zurmat district. In March 2013, Saifullah, along with Taliban commander Abdul Rahim and nine additional fighters, killed two Afghan police personnel.

In mid-April 2013, Saifullah reportedly emplaced an IED at a school, resulting in one student being killed and four other children injured. He should be tried in Afghan court for violation of Article 14 (Explosive/Lethal Device) and Article 19 (Membership in Terrorist Organization) of the Afghan Criminal Code.

Rahman Gul is a commander and financial facilitator who raised funds for the Haqqani Networkinfo-icon (HQN) while also coordinating and conducting insurgent operations against CF/ANSF in the Sabari district of Khost province.

In late January 2013, Gul allegedly coordinated suicide bombings using 14-year-old children and in early February Afghan authorities reported Gul as a HQN operative in charge of 10 fighters. Rahman Gul should be tried in Afghan court for violation of Article 14 (Explosive/Lethal Device) and Article 19 (Membership in Terrorist Organization) of the Afghan Criminal Code.

Salam Khan Balach was captured after being observed emplacing an IED with three other insurgents. The three other insurgents were killed after exchanging small arms fire with coalition forces. The Detainee was wounded during the firefight.

Balach was biometrically matched to a Pressure Plate Improvised Explosive Device (PPIED) attack which resulted in two Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers killed and two wounded. Items found at the capture site include: two AK-47 rifles, ten fully loaded AK-47 magazines, one AK-47 chest rig, one battery pack, two scissors, one set of four razors, two rolls of electrical tape, one wrench, one ICOM radio, one cell phone, one SIM card, one Taliban propaganda book, and various denominations of Afghan and Pakistani money.

Items associated with Salam Khan Balach tested positive for TNT in a field test. The Detainee was a DNA match to DNA recovered from an August 2012 IED attack in the vicinity of Zharay District, Kandahar Province that killed two ANA and wounded two others. The Detainee should be tried in Afghan court for violation of Article 11 (Unlawful Possession of Firearms and Ammunition), Article 14 (Illegal Possession of Explosives), and Article 19 (Membership in Terrorist Organization).


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