Karzai to Afghan Troops: Take Back Our Prison

President orders Afghan forces to retake control of Bagram prison

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 19, 2012 6:34 AM CST

(Newser) – Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai says the US has not abided by an agreement to hand over the prison at Bagram Air Base to Afghan forces, so he today ordered those forces to take over the prison, the New York Times reports. Karzai says the two-month grace period to complete the transfer that he and President Obama OKed has expired, and at a meeting of top officials yesterday, Karzai heard that "even prisoners who were presumed innocent by the court are still being held" at Parwan Detention Facility, his office said in a statement.

Karzai is also unhappy that American forces are transporting newly captured prisoners to Bagram. The US says its agreement with Afghanistan left room for negotiation over what to do with new prisoners, but negotiations have not moved forward because Afghanistan is upset about the prisoners America won't release. "It’s an issue of sovereignty for the government of Afghanistan and to General [John] Allen it’s a matter of security for the coalition troops, you can’t just bring these guys in and let them go," an anonymous American official tells the Times.

In this March 23, 2011 photograph, an Afghan detainee is seen through iron mesh inside the Parwan detention facility near Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan.
In this March 23, 2011 photograph, an Afghan detainee is seen through iron mesh inside the Parwan detention facility near Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
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