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NEWS | Nov. 13, 2010

Two detainees released during separate shuras

By MCC (SW) Maria Yager , Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435

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Community leaders and village elders sit and listen during a detainee release shura Nov. 9 after welcoming a former detainee back into the community. (Defense Department photo by U.S. Navy Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW) Maria C. Yager/Released)

PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Nov. 9, 2010) — Two Afghan men were reunited with their villages during two separate detainee release shuras Nov. 9.

The men, who were detained at the Detention Facility in Parwan, were released to the custody of tribal elders during shuras in Paktika province.

“This man has learned from his past and he is not going to do it again. He is going to be a good person,” said Afghan National Army Maj. Gen. Marjan Shuja, Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 Afghan Commander. Marjan attended both shuras, meeting and talking with the released detainees, village elders and government officials.

One elder expressed thanks to the Afghan government and coalition forces for returning the men to their villages. The elder also expressed his concerns for the community and asked the general to share his concerns with the government officials in Kabul.

“You are sitting in the central government, so you are not aware of this area’s problems, but thanks for coming and seeing personally,” said the elder.  “Now you are seeing with your own eyes and you will go back and share with your higher officials.”

Marjan listened and agreed to share the elders’ concerns with officials in Kabul.

During the shura, local leaders signed guarantor statements for the released men pledging to monitor the released detainees, support their return to the community, and supervise their conduct.

The Afghan-led program for releasing detainees stresses the importance of reintegration into Afghan society.

“I hope that he can be helpful to government and all the community,” Marjan said of one of the released men.

General Marjan and his staff work closely with U.S. officials as CJIATF-435 prepares for the responsible transition of detention operations to Afghan control. This transfer follows a memorandum of agreement signed by the Afghan Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Justice, Supreme Court, Attorney General’s Office, National Directorate of Security, High Office of Oversight, and the Ministry of Interior on Jan. 9, 2010.

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 design of the DFIP accommodates detainee reintegration efforts and enables CJIATF-435 to better align detention operations with the overall strategy to defeat the extremist insurgency in Afghanistan.

The DFIP enables security, transparency and rule of law in Afghanistan both now and when the facility is transferred to the Afghan government in 2011.

The design of the DFIP allows for safe, humane and effective management of the detainee population, and allows willing detainees to participate in group activities, educational and training programs.  The detention facility is equipped with modern medical facilities, an on-site family visitation area, video teleconferencing capability, large recreation areas, vocational-technical training and education classrooms, and additional space to conduct legal proceedings.