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Two former detainees released during Paktika shura

By SSgt. George Cloutier , Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435

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Dec. 6, 2010 — CENTCOM

PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan- Mohammad Sarwar, Paktika province sub governor for Mata Khan, shakes hands with a former detainee during a release shura Nov. 30 in Paktika province. (Defense Department photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Adam Stump/Released)

PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Dec. 6, 2010) — After confirming their commitment to a peaceful way of life, two former detainees were released from the Detention Facility in Parwan Nov. 30 and welcomed back into the community by their families and tribal elders during a detainee release shura in Paktika province.

The Afghan-led program for releasing detainees, implemented in January 2010, stresses the importance of reintegration into Afghan society. Since the program began, more than 300 detainees have been released.

“These men are a huge part of rebuilding our country,” said Mohammad Sarwar, Paktika province sub governor for Mata Khan.

Mr. Sarwar facilitated discussion between family and elders of the two detainees, focusing on successful reintegration and the importance of education.

The shura was presided over by Afghan National Army Maj. Gen. Marjan Shuja, Afghan commander for Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435. General Marjan’s statements to the detainees and village elders echoed that of Mr. Sarwar, urging the detainees to honor their family and elders by living respectably and embracing the Afghan government.

“I urge you to take advantage of the educational opportunities the government of Afghanistan has provided you,” Marjan said. “Use the education you have received to help build Afghanistan. Allah would not like the man who does not believe in his country.”

Many detainees held at the Detention Facility in Parwan are offered the opportunity to receive literacy and vocational training. The reintegration training programs offer several courses including English, Pashto, tailoring, agriculture and bread making. Upon arriving at the DFIP, detainees attend a vocational interview to assess their literacy level and determine what reintegration classes are of interest to the detainee. These reintegration programs offer detainees chances to develop skills to use in their villages once they are released and afford them opportunities to better themselves so that when they do go back home, they have choices other than the insurgency.

CJIATF-435, in partnership with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and U.S. interagency and international partners, conducts operations in detention, corrections, the judicial sector and biometrics.   Ultimately, conditions permitting, CJIATF-435 will transition detention operations to Afghan control while promoting Rule of Law practices.

The 46th Military Police Command, Task Force Peacekeeper, a subordinate CJIATF-435 command, oversees all detention operations at the DFIP. The task force ensures the safe and humane custody, control and care of detained persons in the Detention Facility in Parwan. The 96th Military Police Battalion, Task Force Spartan, trains the Afghan Soldiers in detention operations and provides linguists to overcome language barriers. Their efforts will enable Afghan National Army Soldiers to assume responsibility from their American counterparts and run the detention facility.

The DFIP, a state-of-the-art theater internment facility, located several kilometers from Bagram Airfield, was completed in September 2009 and occupied by detainees in late December 2009.  The DFIP is equipped with a medical facility, on-site family visitation center, vocational facilities and educational classrooms.  The design of the DFIP accommodates detainee reintegration efforts and enables CJIATF-435 to better align detainee operations with the overall strategy to defeat the extremist insurgency in Afghanistan.