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Karzai to US: Hand Over Bagram Prison

Miffed Afghan president accuses US of human rights abuses
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2012 1:04 PM CST
Karzai to US: Hand Over Bagram Prison
In this March 23, 2011 photograph, Afghan detainees, seen through a mesh wire fence, prepare for noon prayers inside the Parwan detention facility near Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

(Newser) – Hamid Karzai today demanded that the US give up control of its prison in Bagram by the end of the month, over what his office called "many cases of violations of Afghan Constitution … and human rights." It's a familiar demand—Afghan officials announced they had a deal to transfer the prison in 2010, but it never happened. Analysts tell the AFP that Karzai may be bringing it up again because he's miffed that the Taliban apparently intends to hold peace talks without him.

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"Karzai wants to prove to the Americans that he can always find ways to put pressure on Americans, [and] thus should not be pushed aside," says one Kabul University professor. In a possibly related move, Karzai announced that two British security contractor employees would be charged with illegal weapons smuggling, and that their employer, a Canadian company, would be shut down. (Read more Bagram Air Force Base stories.)

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