US urges Afghanistan to halt release of 88 prisoners

AfghanistanUS urges Afghanistan to halt release of 88 prisoners

US urges Afghanistan to halt release of 88 prisoners

WASHINGTON: A US official said on Wednesday that the Afghan government should halt the release of 88 prisoners from a jail in the northeastern province of Parwan because they pose a serious threat to security.

The Afghan authorities took full control of Bagram military prison from the United States in March last year after an agreement reached between the two sides which included assurances that inmates who pose a danger to Afghans and international forces would continue to be detained under Afghan law.

“We are concerned that 88 people who have blood on their hands—Afghan and coalition blood—would be turned loose, but more important, that an agreement that we have with the Afghan government is being violated,” the official said a statement on Wednesday.

The Afghan authorities on Monday released more than 650 prisoners because, according to a member of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Abdul Shakoor Dadras, the prisoners were acquitted after Afghan judicial authorities found no evidence of their involvement in militancy.

The relations between the US and the Afghan government have grown particularly strained over President Hamid Karzai’s refusal to sign the bilateral security agreement that would keep around 8,000 US troops in the war-torn country after 2014, when most foreign forces are due to leave.

On Monday, the acting Pentagon spokesman Steve Warren said that we urge the government of Afghanistan to sign the security deal promptly. He said that if we cannot conclude an agreement promptly, we will be forced to initiate planning for a post-2014 future that does not have a US troop presence there.

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