PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Oct. 11, 2010) — After confirming their commitment to a peaceful way of life, 13 former detainees were released from the Detention Facility in Parwan Oct. 11 and welcomed back into the community by their families and tribal elders during a detainee release shura.
The Afghan-led program for releasing detainees, implemented in January 2010, stresses the importance of reintegration into Afghan society. Since its implementation, nearly 240 detainees have been released through more than 40 release shuras.
Afghan National Army Maj. Gen. Marjan Shuja, Afghan National Army commander of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435, presided over the shura.
“I hope that these men will use the education that was provided to them to find good jobs,” he said. “May God help you in your return to your families and your villages, and not allow anything to sway you again.”
As an integral part of the shura, each detainee signed a pledge of non-violence, vowing not to take up arms and swearing allegiance to the government of Afghanistan. Adhering to Afghan communal traditions, tribal elders signed guarantor statements agreeing to assist the former detainees as they reintegrate into society, supporting their return to the community and supervising their conduct. The guarantor statement is an informal, not legally binding document, but is worded to align with local customs.
The aim of reintegration is to remove Afghan fighters from the battlefield by bringing those willing to renounce violence and accept the Afghan constitution back into their communities with honor and dignity. While at the DFIP, detainees have opportunities to participate in educational and vocational classes. Through these courses, they garner skills which will increase their employability upon release, therefore decreasing the likelihood they will return to the insurgency for economic reasons.
The men were released from the DFIP, a state-of-the-art theater internment facility located in Parwan, several kilometers from Bagram Airfield, which was completed in September 2009 and occupied by detainees in late December 2009. The design of the DFIP accommodates detainee reintegration efforts and enables Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 to better align detainee operations with the overall strategy to defeat the extremist insurgency in Afghanistan.
More than 700 Afghan National Army military police Soldiers are currently training to augment the guard force and more than 100 are fully trained and standing guard duty inside the facility with their American counterparts. CJIATF-435 actively partners with Afghan forces in preparation for the responsible transfer of military detention operations to the government of Afghanistan.
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, 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. Their efforts will enable Afghan National Army Soldiers to assume responsibility from their American counterparts and run the detention facility.
The 96th Military Police Battalion, Task Force Spartan, trains the Afghan soldiers in detention operations. A group of linguists provides language support to the ANA to ensure the Soldiers can communicate with detainees in their own language.