US Fails to Completely Transfer Bagram Prison to Afghans: Faizi

News - Afghanistan


The US government has failed to complete the transfer of the Bagram Detention Centre to the Afghan authorities more than two months after the official handover date, Presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi said Monday.

Speaking in a press conference, Faizi said that the Afghan and US presidents had agreed that the complete transfer of all Bagram prisoners to the Afghan government would happen before the US election, but this has not eventuated.

"US President Barack Obama asked for two more months time from President Karzai to complete the process of the Bagram prison transfer," Faizi said, adding that more than 70 Bagram prisoners had been declared innocent by the Afghan high court but they still remained in jail under US custody.

He also stressed that the US control of parts of Bagram prison is a clear violation of Afghanistan's law.

"The problem of keeping control of high risk prisoners was a matter of contention between the Afghan and US governments, despite there not being proof against them. However the US emphasises it's necessary to keep them in custody for a unknown period of time," Faizi said.

Faizi's comments, indicating renewed tensions between the pair, may affect the Afghan-US security pact negotiations currently underway.

However, Head of Karzai's Board of Justice Nasrullah Stanikzai believes that it will not have any negative impact on the security pact as this matter is not part of that agenda.

"I think it will not [have any impact]. Negotiations of this security pact between the Afghan and US government started only a week ago and it will continue," Stanikzai said.

He also believes that the reason for the US not transferring the prisoners to the Afghan authorities may be a technicality.

"The reason of this is not clear - there might have been some technical issues. They denied to hand over the other 600 prisoners noting them as threat to security," he told TOLOnews on Monday.

Several attempts by TOLOnews to get a response from the head of Bagram Detention Center Ghulam Farooq Barikzai went unanswered.

Currently, Afghan authorities control several blocks of the Bagram prison where more than 3,000 prisoners said to have ties with Taliban are held.

Around 50 prisoners are foreigners, including Pakistanis.

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