US to transfer key prison to Afghan govt
Updated: 2012-09-10 10:19
KABUL - The US forces in Afghanistan will transfer the full control of a key prison -- the Bagram Detention Center to the Afghan government later Monday, Afghan authorities said.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai during a special meeting with the top US and NATO commander in the country Gen. John R. Allen on Saturday set Sept 10 as a deadline for handing over the control of the prison to the Afghan Defense Ministry.
General Allen and the former Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak singed an agreement on March 9 this year over the transfer of the facility to Afghan government within six months, ending on Sept 9.
"President Karzai directed the relevant authorities to go ahead with the plan already in place to hold a grand ceremony on Monday to mark the formal transfer of the prison to Afghanistan," said a statement posted on Karzai's website.
The ceremony will be held in Bagram prison located near the Bagram Airbase, the main US and NATO military base, some 50 km north of Kabul.
According to the document singed on March 9 this year, Afghanistan will consult with the US before the release of inmates, including release prior to indictment of transferred detainees.
According to local media reports, more than 3,000 suspected Taliban and al-Qaida operatives, who have been detained by Afghan forces and NATO-led troops within the past 10 years, have been held in Bagram detention center.
However, the Afghan official said that only around 850 suspected Taliban fighters, including more than two dozen foreigners, have been held in Bagram detention center.