Karzai warns US over prison handover

2012-09-08 22:00
Hamid Karzai (AFP, File)

Hamid Karzai (AFP, File)

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Kabul - President Hamid Karzai on Saturday warned that a delay in the handover by the US of its biggest military prison in Afghanistan would be considered a "breach of Afghanistan's sovereignty", his office said in a statement.

"Bagram Prison has to be transferred from international forces to Afghan authority on Monday," Karzai was quoted as having said in a meeting with the commander of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force General John Allen and US Ambassador James Cunningham.

In a statement earlier this week, Karzai said the government would take control of the prison north of Kabul on 10 September. In March the two sides signed a deal that would give control of the prison to Afghan forces within six months.

"The prison is now supposed to be transferred to Afghan government and thus any delay in its handover is considered a breach of the Afghan national sovereignty," Karzai said.

US and Nato officials have not commented on the matter, but US media have reported that Washington is unwilling to hand over the facility, where hundreds of suspected Taliban insurgents are being held.

Former detainees and human rights groups have alleged that Bagram inmates were ill-treated and some kept in solitary confinement.

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