US Hands Bagram Prison to Afghanistan

But Washington hasn't yet transferred all detainees
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2012 8:57 AM CDT
In this photo reviewed by the US military, US military personnel stand on a guard tower at the US-run Parwan detention facility near Bagram north of Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday Sept. 27, 2010.   (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

(Newser) – As the US continues prepping for a complete transfer of responsibilities in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, Washington today handed formal control of the controversial Bagram prison over to Kabul. Formally known as Parwan Detention Facility, the country's only large US-run prison is located next to the Bagram airfield and recently hit the spotlight when hundreds of Korans from its library were burned at the Bagram base. Afghan President Hamid Karzai hailed the transfer, but there are still disagreements between the US and Afghanistan over the detainees held at Parwan, the AP reports.

Since signing a transfer agreement in March, the US has been gradually handing over control of most of the 3,000 or so prisoners, but recently stopped transferring new detainees to Kabul's control, reportedly over fears that Afghan authorities may release them. At this point, the US is still thought to be in control of hundreds of prisoners, but the head of the prison says all but 50 will eventually be transferred to Afghanistan's control. Those 50, who are not covered by the agreement, will be kept in a small US-administered portion of the facility. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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