angered by Afghan release of 65 accused militants from prison
Earnest February 13, 2014
Media KABUL—The United States says Afghanistan's
decision to release 65 accused militants from a former U.S. prison near
Kabul is "deeply regrettable."
The suspected militants were freed early on February 13 from Bagram
prison, which was transferred under Afghan authority last year.
"According to the information we received from our military police
headquarters, we confirmed that 65 prisoners from Bagram prison have
been released this morning," Defense Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi told
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul said in a statement that the Afghan government "bears responsibility for the results of its decision."
The statement urged Afghan authorities "to make every effort to ensure
that those released do not commit new acts of violence and terror."
In a statement issued on February 13, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh
Rasmussen said the release of the 65 prisoners poses serious security
concerns and is a "major step backwards" for the rule of law.
He said the decision appeared to have been "based on political
calculations" and called on Afghan authorities to make sure those
released do not pose a further threat.
President Hamid Karzai, who ordered the releases, has called Bagram
prison a "Taliban-producing factory" and said some of the prisoners had
been tortured into hating their own country.
Abdul Shakor Dadras, head of the Afghan Review Board, told the media that no proof of guilt existed.
"We could not find any evidence to prove that these 65 people are
criminals according to Afghan law," Dadras said. "There was no reason to
keep them in the prison, though there was no evidence of the period
they have spent inside the prison and the overall process was unlawful
Bagram prison, 50 kilometers north of Kabul, had been the main detention
center housing Taliban and other suspected insurgents captured by
Observers believe the Afghan government hopes that the releases can help
revive peace talks with the Taliban, who were ousted from power in