US military suspends prisoners transfer to Afghan jails
By Sayed Jawad - Thu Jan 17 2013, 12:16 pm
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force on Wednesday said the transfer of the prisoners from the US-run jails to Afghan detention facilities have been suspended following concerns regarding continued human rights abuse and torture.
The American-led coalition officials also called on the Afghan government to investigate the allegations regarding torture and humilitation of the prisoners by Afghan police units, The New York Times reported.
The move by coalition officials sparks concerns regarding tensions between Kabul and Washington on detainees transfer to Afghan security forces. There are also concerns that he torture allegations could also set off significant financial aid cutoffs to parts of the Afghan security forces, which play a crucial role in plans for an American withdrawal that are based on handing over responsibility for security to the Afghans as early as this spring.
In the meantime transfer of prisoners to Afghan security forces is one of the main condition of the Afghan government to sign a security pact between Kabul and Washington however Pentagon officials are saying that the decision will not affect prisoners transfer in main Bagram prison.
Cmdr. Bill Speaks, a Pentagon spokesman on Afghan policy quoted by New York Times said, “Afghan military forces and police that operate effectively and with respect for human rights are central to the success of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.”
The prisoners transfer to Afghan security forces across the country was suspended following a UNited Nations report published in October 2011 however the transition was restored last year.
In the meantime United Nations is due to issue another report on prisoners condition in Afghanistan.
Amir Mohammad Jamshidi, general director of the prisons department in the Ministry of Interior denied the allegations and told New York Times, “I dismiss all the allegations of torture and mistreatment of prisoners in Afghan prisons. I have not heard anything about Americans’ decision to halt or cut their support or transfer of detainees to the Afghan side.”
However a spokesman for the NATO-led International security Assistance Force (ISAF) Jamie Graybeal said the prisoners transfer was halted “as a result of information I.S.A.F. has determined to be credible.”
He told New York Times, “In the remaining 23 months of the I.S.A.F. mission, we will continue to support the Afghan government in its efforts to improve problems identified.”