Karzai orders Afghan prisoner review

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered a review of the cases of every Taliban suspect in the country’s prisons. He said that where evidence against suspects was doubtful, they must be released.

Mr Karzai’s announcement of prisoner case reviews is the first official response to the national peace conference, which ended on Friday.

The conference discussed measures to promote reconciliation, including negotiations with militant factions, and recommended the release of Taliban suspects being held in Afghan police custody and by the US military if they were being held on “inaccurate statements or unsubstantiated allegations”.

It is unclear how many people the review will affect. Hundreds of prisoners are accused of Taliban involvement. A committee will be set up to oversee the investigation of each case. The president’s office did not specify if the review included prisoners detained in US-run prisons. However, NATO’s top civilian spokesman in Afghanistan said they would cooperate with the government.

The head of international forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, told the BBC

“We’ve already been doing that for a number of months, doing a very effective detainee review board process that has… participants from the individual’s village, and we’ve released a large number around the country, and that’s going very well.”

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