April 23, 2014

President Karzai accuses US of breaching prison pact

By Sadaf Shinwari - Mon Nov 19 2012, 1:41 pm

President Hamid Karzai has accused the United States of breaching an agreement to transfer more than 3,000 detainees at a controversial prison north of Kabul to Afghan control.

Hamid Karzai’s late Sunday statement, which did not include any specific demands for the U.S., was made days after the beginning of negotiations on a bilateral security agreement that will govern the U.S. military presence in the country after the majority of troops draw down in 2014. Karzai’s critics say he frequently strikes populist, nationalist stances that give him leverage in talks with the Americans.

Afghan presidential Palace following a statement said, “On Sunday late afternoon, President Hamid Karzai chaired a meeting with judicial and law enforcement officials to discuss matters concerning the full transfer, to Afghan government, of Bagram Prison authority and the future of its prisoners.”

The source further added, “The meeting was held after the completion of the two-month timeline that President Karzai had agreed with at the proposal of US President for the full transfer of the prison.”

“The meeting began by hearing reports by the Attorney General and the Military Police Commander, where it said that even prisoners who were presumed innocent by the court are still being held. In addition, there are people who, against the provisions of the MoU already signed, are newly imprisoned by the American forces.”, the statement added.

The statemetn also said, “Calling the status quo a serious breach of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Afghanistan and the United States, the President assigned the Minister of Defense, the Attorney General, and the chief Commander of Bagram Prison to take all required and urgent measures to ensure a full Afghanization of the prison affairs and a complete transfer of its authority.”

“President Karzai further instructed the officials to put into action every practical measure for the enforcement of Afghanistan laws and implementation of the MoU on Bagram Prison Transfer and to report back to the President.”, the statement released by Afghan Presidential Palace added.

The two countries signed the detainee transfer pact in March but the handover of detention facilities has been slowed by the U.S., which has argued both that the Afghans are not ready to take over their management and insisted that the Afghan government agree to hold without trial some detainees that the U.S. deems too dangerous to release.

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