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Provincial Peace and Reintegration Council visits Detention Facility in Parwan

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

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Provincial Peace and Reintegration Council members from four Afghan provinces visited the Detention Facility in Parwan on Feb. 9 to gain a better understanding of detention operations in Afghanistan. Photo by U.S. Navy Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW) Maria Yager.

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Feb. 12, 2011) — Provincial Peace and Reintegration Council members from four eastern Afghan provinces visited the Detention Facility in Parwan on Feb. 9  to gain a better understanding of the facility and the Detainee Review Board process.

“One part of this program [Provincial Peace and Reintegration Council] includes the reintegration of former insurgent group members including former detainees when they are released,” said a council member.

PPRC members work with provincial leaders to welcome former detainees back to their villages and help the men returning to their communities lead a peaceful life.

The Afghan government has established PPRCs throughout Afghanistan under the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Program to help lead communities across the country toward a peaceful future.

Council members met with U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Mandi A. Murray, Task Force Peacekeeper commander, who walked the men through the DFIP, explained operations and answered questions.

During their tour the group visited the detainee services branch, on-site medical facility and new Afghan Housing Unit, operated under Afghan law and procedures. The opening of the AHU in January 2011 marked a significant milestone in the Afghan government’s growing capacity to assume responsibility for detention operations at the DFIP.

“I am happy that we had the opportunity to come and visit the detention facility and see the living conditions,” said one council member. “There is plenty of room and the men have access to food and good personal hygiene.”

In the Legal Operations Directorate, council members learned about criteria for detention at the facility and how the council may participate in the Detainee Review Board process.

Detainees receive a DRB within 60 days of their arrival at the DFIP and then every six months thereafter for as long as they are detained. Detainees are represented by a personal representative and are allowed to make a statement, present information, call witnesses and challenge information presented against them during their DRB.

The detainee may request family members, village elders and PPRC members attend the DRB.

If the DRB determines an individual does not meet the criteria for detention – that the former fighters’ threat can be mitigated – the person is recommended for release from the DFIP and returned to his village as soon as practical. Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 oversees U.S. detention operations in Afghanistan and works with leaders from the detainee’s province to arrange detainee release shuras where the former detainees reunite with their communities and families.

The PPRC aims to take insurgents out of the fight and return them to their communities with honor and dignity so that they can live peaceful, productive lives.

More than 350 detainees have been released from the DFIP through detainee release shuras in the past year.

The DFIP is a state-of-the-art theater internment facility located several kilometers from Bagram Air Field.  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.

CJIATF-435 includes combined and interagency partners and is commanded by U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Robert S. Harward. Among its many missions, CJIATF-435 has oversight for detention operations in Afghanistan, including care and custody of detainees, full implementation of detainee review procedures, and vocational and educational programs designed to facilitate the peaceful reintegration of detainees into society.