Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Kabul rejects US warnings over freed Afghan detainees  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 15/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN -Arab News) ANKARA/KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai rejected criticism of his government’s release of 65 detainees viewed by Washington as dangerous militants, further fanning tensions with the United States as the international mission in Afghanistan winds down

Disregarding heated American protests, Afghanistan released 65 accused militants from a former US prison on Thursday, despite warnings that the men are dangerous Taleban fighters and bomb-makers likely to return to killing foreign forces and Afghans

Afghan officials described the release as justice for its own citizens who had faced unfounded US accusations. But the United States expressed deep concern over the decision and NATO, which runs the 12-year-old foreign military operation supporting the Karzai government, denounced it as “a major step backward,

“If Afghan judicial authorities decide to release a prisoner, it is of no concern to the US,” Karzai told a news conference in the Turkish capital Ankara after talks with Turkey’s president and Pakistan’s prime minister

“I hope the US will stop harassing Afghanistan’s procedures and judicial authority. I hope the United States will now begin to respect Afghan sovereignty,” said Karzai, who after more than a decade in power is to step down after April elections

Karzai’s government has long complained that foreign forces have locked up Afghans on dubious grounds, with no proper judicial process

In an unusually strong statement, the US military force in Kabul said some of the released detainees had killed both Afghans and foreign soldiers and now posed a fresh threat

“US and Afghan forces risked their lives to ensure the safety of the Afghan people. We call upon the (Kabul government) to consider the potentially lethal effects of today’s releases,” it said, adding that the released detainees may resume their “criminal behavior.

US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf called on Kabul to ensure that released detainees do not carry out any acts of violence “and to immediately bring to justice any who would.

“Afghanistan is a sovereign country, (Karzai) is right about that. They can make their own decisions,” Harf said

“We have been very clear, however, that we have a legitimate force protection concern for the lives of coalition forces, of Afghan security forces and Afghan civilians because these men have been released.

In the US Congress, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Representative Howard “Buck” McKeon, said he was “appalled” by Kabul’s decision. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has said he would introduce a resolution condemning Karzai’s actions and would seek to cut off some US development aid in response

Video provided to Reuters by the Afghan Defence Ministry showed the prisoners, with jackets or blankets over their traditional Afghan garb, shaking hands with Afghan military officials as they left the prison

Abdul Shakor Dadras, head of the Afghan board charged with reviewing the prisoners’ cases, said their detention had been unjustified from the outset, despite the US claims

“I believe the release of these 65 people will benefit the Afghan nation and it will benefit the American nation and American government,” Dadras told Reuters Television

In Brussels, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen echoed the US criticism of the release of the detainees

“This decision, which appears to have been made based on political calculations and without regard for due process before the Afghan courts, is a major step backward for the rule of law in Afghanistan, and poses serious security concerns,” he said

The prisoners were part of a much larger group of detainees transferred to Afghan authority last year as one milestone in the US and NATO transition out of Afghanistan. A coalition of foreign forces has been battling the Taleban since the group was ousted in 2001

More than 500 of those prisoners have already been released, a US military official said on condition of anonymity, while others were recommended for prosecution in Afghan courts

The 65 freed on Thursday were part of a group of 88 whose proposed release had prompted US objections. The fate of the remaining 23 prisoners in the group is still being examined by the Afghan government, the official said

An unnamed prisoner, speaking in the footage provided by the Afghan Defence Ministry, said those detained at Bagram prison were “sons of their country, whose ancestors fought against Russia,” referring to what many Afghans see as the Afghan Mujahideen’s honorable fight against the Soviet occupation in the 1980s

While US officials have said US forces would try to kill or capture the men if they took up arms against them, it remains unclear whether US or coalition forces would try to apprehend or target them pre-emptively

The detainees have become one more issue fuelling tension in US-Afghan ties ahead of the April presidential poll and the planned pullout of most foreign troops by the end of the year

The Obama administration has been pressing Karzai for months to sign a bilateral security agreement with Washington that would allow some US troops to stay beyond that deadline

It was unclear what effect the release would have on US deliberations about what a possible post-2014 troop presence could look like or on its view of the stalled security pact

The US military official said the United States had provided Afghan officials with “hundreds of pages” of what he described as evidence or leads against the prisoners

Some of the detainees, he said, had been linked by biometric data to the production or placement of improvised explosive devices, sometimes through fingerprints left on adhesive tape used to assemble homemade bombs.


 






  MENA News Headlines
 Jul 29 2014 - New additions to Local Harvest brand of datesKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) E dates come from farmers who have contracts with ADFSC and therefore practise date palm farming according to the centres standards.For the next three weeks the Abu Dhabi ...

 Jul 29 2014 - PayTabs to launch online solutions in Bahrain, SaudiMENAFN
(MENAFN) PayTabs, a payment processing solution company co-owned by Saudi Aramco, is set to launch its online payment processing solutions in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Gulf Daily News reported.The ...

 Jul 29 2014 - Mobily signs LTE-4G roaming deal with BatelcoMENAFN
(MENAFN) Mobily telecom has signed an LTE-4G roaming deal with Bahrini Batelco to provide customers with advanced Internet services, Arab News reported.This agreement coincides with Eid Al-Fitr ...

 Jul 29 2014 - Radiant During RamadanMuscat Daily
(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Keep your skin and hair glowing and shiny even as you're fasting in this holy month. Some tips... Moisturise Your skin too gets dehydrated when you fast. It is ...

 Jul 29 2014 - Duqm Airport takes offMuscat Daily
(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The newly opened Duqm Airport received its first Oman Air flight ahead of schedule on Wednesday with officials saying that the facility will serve as an air transport and ...

 Jul 29 2014 - Air fares rise by 35 as travellers rush to make the most of long breakMuscat Daily
(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Fares of most airlines have gone up due to the increase in demand during Eid al Fitr holidays. The prices of tickets to different destinations have gone up by nearly 35 per ...

 Jul 29 2014 - MoHC invites bid for construction of $250mn Oman Cultural ComplexMuscat Daily
(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) After announcing the appointment of the UK-based international consultancy and construction company, Mace as project manager for the Oman Cultural Complex (OCC), the Ministry ...

 Jul 29 2014 - Moon sighting expected on Monday eveningMuscat Daily
(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The crescent of the new moon is expected to be visible on Monday evening across all governorates in the sultanate, marking the beginning of the month of Shawwal, according to ...

 Jul 29 2014 - Pakistan's film industry becomes alive againArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) HORE: A breed of brand new independent filmmakers is successfully filling the void left by an obsolete industry known as Lollywood.In many ways 2013 was an era-defining year for ...

 Jul 29 2014 - Pak-British singer faces death threats over Gaza supportArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) NDON: Zayn Malik probably wasn't expecting the barrage of abuse he received from followers after he pledged his support for the #FreePalestine social media campaign The ...

more...


 






Google

Click to Apply

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help