Afghans Take Control of Prison

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

BAGRAM, Afghanistan (AP) -- Afghanistan's president is calling the handover of the main American-run prison in his country a "very big step" for Afghan sovereignty.
U.S. officials held a ceremony today giving Afghanistan formal control of the prison next to the U.S. airfield in Bagram (bah-GRAHM') that holds hundreds of Taliban and terror suspects.
The Afghan general who now heads the prison says more than 3,000 detainees have been handed over since March, but that stopped a few weeks ago.
A spokesman for the U.S.-led military coalition says it has "paused" the transfers until U.S. concerns are met. He didn't describe the concerns, but a report last week by the New York-based Open Society Foundations said there's concern that the Afghans will let dangerous prisoners go rather than continue to hold them without charge.
A statement today from President Hamid Karzai says the facility will now become a regular Afghan prison where "the innocents will be freed and the rest of the prisoners will be sentenced according to the laws of Afghanistan."

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