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650 Inmates Released from Bagram Prison

While nearly one year ago the Afghan government took over Bagram prison and there were 3,000 inmates, including 50 foreign inmates.

Bagram Air Base Afghanistan
Bagram Air Base Afghanistan, Jan 2007. photo by Tim King

(KABUL Tolo News) - The Investigating Fates of Prisoners Committee (IFPC) on Tuesday revealed that 650 inmates previously housed in Bagram Prison have been released.

The IFPC said that in total over 760 inmates at Bagram are being vetted for possible early release.

The committee said that most of the inmates were accused of involvement with the Taliban and the Hezb-e-Islami group led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, both anti-government groups, but there was insufficient evidence to hold them on those charges.

"When a suspect or a commander is not arrested with a gun and when there is no evidence according to Afghan law, laboratory tests have been not conducted in accordance with Afghan law and suspected men don't even know about their crime and are kept in prison for three or four years, we have released those like this, the 650 inmates," IFPC member Abdul Shokor Dadras said.

However, many have expressed concerns about released militants rejoining insurgent groups, which has been documented before. The IFPC committee said that there is no guarantee that the freed inmates won't rejoin.

American officials report that dangerous prisoners and those who were detained in the battlefield were transferred to Bagram prison, but the IFPC committee said that there is no criminal evidence based on Afghan law against most of the Bagram prisoners.

"We cannot tell the nation just that they are dangerous or just that they are a threat but we need evidence for each claim," said Dadras, a member of the IFPC.

While nearly one year ago the Afghan government took over Bagram prison and there were 3,000 inmates, including 50 foreign inmates.

Since then, 536 inmates have been released on the bases of decrees by President Hamid Karzai, among them there were 224 suicide bombers and seven Pakistanis. Others, like the 650 announced this week, were released due to lack of progress in investigations around their cases.



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