Afghanistan Frees 65 Prisoners Suspected Of Taliban Involvement, And The American Military Is Not Happy
The American military deems them "dangerous," but Afghanistan officials still freed 65 prisoners Thursday from a high-security detention center in Bagram. Despite repeated warnings from the U.S. that the men are dangerous insurgents who may have killed American soldiers, the Afghan government insists they have no reason to keep them jailed. The decision is "deeply regrettable," according to the U.S. Embassy, and the American military doesn't believe sufficient evidence was considered in the decision to release the prisoners.
Worst case scenario: Further increased tensions between Afghanistan and the United States, a relationship which already hangs precariously in the balance, plus greater potential for deadly attacks. Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has reportedly called the jail a "Taliban-making factory," saying he wants to see it closed.
The 65 detainees are part of a group of 88 who were arrested by U.S. and NATO-led troops during Taliban-hunting raids. The men are linked to deadly attacks wounding and killing U.S. or coalition personnel as well as Afghan civilians, and were being held indefinitely at the former U.S. military prison at Bagram. Documents obtained by media outlets say they were caught with weapons and materials for making improvised explosive devices.
Since then, the facility has been transferred to Afghan control and renamed Parwan. A review board released the men without trial and officials claim various government groups looked over the cases, finding no evidence of accusations. The judge overseeing the review, Abdul Shakor Dadras, says he has the support of the Afghan attorney general’s office.
That is why they were freed today and are on the way to their homes. Legally, we have no right to hold these people. We are studying the cases of the rest of the prisoners to see which one deserves to be punished and which one needs to be freed.
Pressures remain high between the U.S. and Afghanistan, as the country's government has yet to sign an agreement to allow American military troops to remain in the country past the end of the year.
Image: Getty Images