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'UN uncooperative as Bagram transfer imminent'

01 February, 2013

KABUL: President Hamid Karzai's spokesman has accused the United Nations of not cooperating with the government investigation into Afghan jail abuse and said that American officials have agreed on a date to fully transfer Bagram prison to the Afghan Government.

Emphasising that the existence of any type of foreign prison in Afghanistan is not acceptable, Aimal Faizi said in an interview that US officials in Kabul have agreed with Bagram officers on the handover date.

“This morning our commander in Bagram jail reported to us that the American officials told him that they are ready as soon as possible hand over all responsibilities of the jail to the Afghan Government. They also agreed on a date but I cannot say anything about the time because it maybe change,” Faizi said.

This comes only ten days after the US and Nato said they will suspend transfer of detainees to Afghan detention centres after a UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Unama) investigation reported widespread abuse and use of torture in prison system.

“We didn't receive any official letter from Isaf yet that they postponed the process. This process is continuing and there is no reason for it to be postponed,” Faizi said.

“When the presidents of two counties agreed to on the hand over in Washington, then lower-ranking officers in Kabul cannot do that [suspend a handover],” he added.

The spokesman denied the findings of the Unama report and said they should give the Afghan authorities all their findings, including the names of the prisoners who said they were tortured and the names of those who tortured them.

But Unama has refused to disclose the names of the prisoners to the Afghan government, he said.

“Unama's report is not true,” Faizi said.

“We have formed a committee to study the issue and we asked the Unama and UN to send their representatives but they didn't.

We asked them to give us the prisoners' names who were tortured but they didn't. We asked them to give us the names of those authorities who are responsible for torture but they didn't.

So it means they didn't cooperate at all and they must defend their report,” he added.

End.

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