Entries in Prisons (2)


US Agrees to Hand Over Control of Prisons in Afghanistan

Department of Defense/Pfc. Jorge A. Ortiz, U.S. Marine Corps(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- In what's considered a major breakthrough, the U.S. has agreed to turn over control of all detention facilities in Afghanistan to Afghan security forces within the next six months.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai had been demanding the transfer as a condition for signing any long term strategic agreement with the United States.

The new deal guarantees that U.S. advisors will still have access to the detention facilities to ensure all prisoners are treated according to the Geneva Convention.  Organizations like the Red Cross and Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission will also have access.

Among the prisons being transferred is the one in Bagram Airfield, the U.S. base where troops burned Korans last month.  The incident sparked a series of protests and violent acts against American and coalition forces.

Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, will head a new commission that will supervise the handover, along with Afghan Minster of Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak,

The first 500 prisoners are expected to be transfered within 45 days.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


UN Finds Torture in Afghan-Run Prisons, US Halts Transfer of Prisoners

Ojo Images/Workbook Stock(UNITED NATIONS) -- A United Nations report that was supposed to be released next week has been leaked to the BBC and delivers explosive allegations against Afghanistan’s police and its equivalent of the FBI.

The report, according to the copy obtained by the BBC, accuses Afghanistan’s police and national directorate of security of running prisons in which Taliban and criminal prisoners were beaten and given electric shocks.
In response, NATO has stopped transferring detainees that soldiers and marines pick up in the field to Afghan authorities in a handful of areas “until we can verify the observations of a pending UNAMA [UN Mission in Afghanistan] report," a NATO official told the BBC. The official called the step “prudent.”

Why is this important? Detention and rule of law is fundamental to Afghans, and if Afghanistan’s FBI and police have been torturing prisoners, then Afghans could turn against their own government, and that drives them away from the U.S. -- making life more dangerous for your average U.S. soldier.
“UNAMA is currently finalizing a report on the mistreatment of detainees in Afghanistan,” says a spokesman. “We have shared the report’s findings with the government of Afghanistan, including with the National Directorate of Security. We understand they are taking the findings very seriously and are proposing a series of remedial action. Our findings indicate that the mistreatment of detainees is not an institutional or government policy of the government of Afghanistan.”
NATO has suspended transfers to prisons run by NDS in Herat, Khost, Lagman, Kapisa and Takhar, as well as the NDS' Counter-Terrorism prison, known as Department 124. It has also suspended transfers to two prisons run by the Afghan Police in Kunduz and Tarin Kowt.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio