Karzai Demands Transfer of Bagram Prison to Afghan Control

Posted January 5th, 2012 at 10:45 am (UTC-5)
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Afghan President Hamid Karzai is demanding that the U.S. detention center at Bagram Air Base be transferred fully to the Afghan government's control within a month.

Mr. Karzai issued the order Thursday after hearing a briefing on a report detailing what his office called “many cases of violations of [the] Afghan Constitution and other applicable laws of the country, [and of] the relevant international conventions and human rights.”

The president has tasked a high-level commission to oversee the transfer of both the detention center and prisoners held by foreign forces exactly one month from Thursday.

Mr. Karzai initially had tasked the commission last January to complete the transfer of the prison from U.S. control within a year.

In a statement Thursday, his office said that the full transfer will ensure that “any more breach(es) of … Afghan sovereignty can be avoided.”

The detention facility is located inside the sprawling U.S. military base at Bagram, just north of the Afghan capital of Kabul. Human rights groups have claimed that there have been cases of detainees being threatened, forced to strip naked and kept in solitary confinement in the prison.

It is unclear how many high-value detainees are held at the site.

The prison transfer is part of the U.S.-led coalition's process to hand full security control in Afghanistan over to the Afghan government gradually by the end of 2014.