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Khowst governor hosts release shura for former detainees

Release No: UNRELEASED Aug. 9, 2010 PRINT | E-MAIL

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A former detainee signs a pledge of non-violence during a detainee release shura in Khowst Province, Afghanistan, Aug. 7.

KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Aug. 9, 2010) – Seven detainees were released from the Detention Facility in Parwan and welcomed back to their communities during a shura Aug. 7 in Khowst province.

Khowst Governor Abdul Jabbar Naeemi, welcomed the former detainees back into the community and praised Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the government for releasing the detainees before Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of prayer and fasting.

This event was the second at which former detainees from the Detention Facility in Parwan were released to the governor who agreed to be responsible for the men.  Governor Naeemi hosted the shura and advised the released detainees to stay away from violence and to help their families and government resist insurgents.

Since January 2010, more than 200 detainees have been released from the Detention Facility in Parwan after signing pledges to renounce violence.  Local leaders sign guarantor statements which state they will monitor the released detainee, support his return to the community and supervise his conduct.  The guarantor statement is an informal, not legally binding document, but is worded to align with the Pashtunwali code. 

The shura was attended by dozens of people, including friends, family members and tribal elders who pledged to assist the former detainees with their reintegration to their communities.

Along with Governor Naeemi, Afghan National Army Brig. Gen. Mohebur Rahman, JTF-435 Afghan deputy commander, presided over the shura. The general asked the detainees to keep their promise and obey the government.

At the shura, one of the men spoke about his experience at the DFIP.  He said the conditions were good and detainees are treated with respect and dignity. 

Part of a multi-step approach to detention operations, detainee release shuras are designed to assist individuals in successfully rejoining their communities.  While at the Detention Facility in Parwan, detainees have opportunities to participate in educational and vocational classes. The intent is to provide detainees with skills that will enable them to find work, easing the reentry process and creating economic incentives to keep them from returning to the battlefield.  

Joint Task Force 435 is responsible for U.S. detention operations in Afghanistan and provides leadership for the Detention Facility in Parwan.  The command was established Sept. 18, 2009, by the Secretary of Defense.  The detention mission includes ensuring safe, secure, humane care and custody of detainees consistent with international law.  Additionally, JTF-435 oversees the detainee review process, implements programs for the peaceful reintegration of detainees into society and coordinates with other agencies and partners for the promotion of the rule of law in Afghanistan.