(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Bagram prison, the main U.S. detention center in Afghanistan over the past decade, was formally turned over to Afghan authorities during a ceremony Monday.
In a statement, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that government control of the facility holding more than 3,000 prisoners helps move the rest of the world closer to recognition of Afghan national sovereignty.
Foreign Minister spokesman Janan Musazai also promised “humane treatment of all detainees and prisoners in accordance to our national and international obligations.”
However, some human rights groups remain skeptical about Afghanistan’s commitment to non-abusive treatment of detainees.
Open Society Afghanistan said following the transfer of Bagram that other countries in similar situations often play fast and loose with regulations of internment.
Spokesman Rachel Reid stated, “In our experience in other countries, it’s been very open to abuse, because what it enables a government to do is to detain people without trial and often without a lawyer.”
Meanwhile, U.S. Deputy Public Affairs Officer Jamie Graybeal stressed that while Bagram is now under Afghan control, the new arrangement won’t limit American authority in capturing and detaining enemies of the state and criminals.
That could turn into a further source of contention between Washington and Kabul since the U.S. is concerned that the Afghans may start freeing Taliban prisoners, a possibility that might keep the American military from turning over suspects it captures.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Sheena McKenzie, CNN
Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
Euan McKirdy and Marilia Brocchetto, CNN
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News