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News | Dec. 20, 2010

Members of high peace council tour detention facility in Parwan

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

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Dec. 20, 2010) — Members of the Afghan Peace and Reconciliation Program High Peace Council detainee subcommittee toured the Detention Facility in Parwan Dec. 19 to learn more about the detention facility and its operations.

“We appreciate the opportunity to visit the DFIP and we can see the treatment here is humane,” said Rahmatuhllah Wahedyar, a High Peace Council member, after his visit.

The DFIP is a state of the art theater internment facility designed to allow for safe, humane and effective management of the detainee population, and allows willing detainees to participate in group activities, educational and training programs.

Council members began their tour at the farm where eligible detainees learn agriculture and farming techniques to develop skills to use in their villages once they are released. Other reintegration programs offered to detainees at the DFIP include Dari, Pashto and English literacy classes, bread making and tailoring. Council members listened and asked questions to better understand the reintegration purpose and process at the DFIP.

Next, the council visited the detainee service branch to understand the detainee intake process.  In processing at the DFIP consists of registering detainees’ biometric information into a database.  Biometrics information is unique to an individual and can be used to identify one person from another.

“This is good because then you can tell the good from the bad,” said one council member looking at the enrollment station.

The members then toured the detainee housing units to view the living conditions in the facility. The DFIP has four detainee housing units operated by U.S. and Afghan forces consistent with a memorandum of agreement signed by pertinent Afghan ministries in January 2010. The agreement calls for the conditions- based transfer of the DFIP to the government of Afghanistan. Afghan National Army military police began working in the DFIP in June.

“We were happy to hear that the U.S. is working to handover the facility to Afghanistan and justice will be based on Afghan laws,” said Wahedyar who saw ANA Soldiers from the Parwan and Pol-e-Charki Military Police Brigade working in the DFIP.

The DFIP tour concluded with an informational briefing on legal operations and a tour of the Justice Center in Parwan.  Afghan judges have tried 28 detainee cases under Afghan law at the JCIP.

The High Peace Council carries out the goals identified at the Afghan Consultative Peace Jirga, including peace and an end to war and fratricide through understanding and negotiations and is comprised of Afghan citizens including religious leaders, tribal elders, parliamentarians and former militants.

A focus of the subcommittee is to release Afghans detained based on inaccurate information or unsubstantiated allegations. Wahedyar had questions about criteria for detention but said his tour was informative and provided clarity to the DFIP detention process and programs.

HPC detainee subcommittee members are encouraged to establish and maintain regular contact with the DFIP, particularly through the legal office in order to provide input into the detainee review board process.  The DRB determines an individual does or does not meet the criteria for detention, is required within 60 days of the individual’s arrival at the Detention Facility in Parwan and then every six months thereafter, for as long as he is detained.  Detainees attend all unclassified sessions of the hearing, are represented by a personal representative, and are allowed to make a statement, present information, call witnesses and challenge information presented against them.