Afghanistan — Seven Former Detainees Released to Families and Tribal Elders

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Sev­en for­mer detainees were released here July 6 into the cus­tody of their fam­i­lies and trib­al elders dur­ing a release shu­ra after con­firm­ing their com­mit­ment to a peace­ful way of life.

The men were released from the Deten­tion Facil­i­ty in Par­wan, which is run by Joint Task Force 435, under the com­mand of U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Robert S. Har­ward, Jr. JTF-435’s deputy com­man­der, Afghan Nation­al Army Brig. Gen. Mohe­bur Rah­man, presided over the event and helped wel­come the detainees back into their com­mu­ni­ties.

Before the cer­e­mo­ny, the for­mer detainees were brought in to meet with their fam­i­lies and trib­al lead­ers. An Afghan-style lunch was then served to all of the peo­ple in atten­dance. Fol­low­ing lunch was a time for prayer just before the cer­e­mo­ny. The Afghan Min­is­ter of Jus­tice, Prof. Habibul­lah Ghal­ib, also attend­ed the event.

“We appre­ci­ate the coor­di­na­tion between the U.S. and Afghanistan,” Ghal­ib said. “I am call­ing on all of my broth­ers to stop fight­ing.”

“Our goal is to return these men to their fam­i­lies and vil­lages so they will not return to the fight,” Har­ward said.

The release shu­ra was attend­ed by more than 150 Afghans, includ­ing fam­i­ly of the detainees and trib­al elders from many dif­fer­ent provinces. Local lead­ers signed a guar­an­tor state­ment indi­cat­ing their intent to mon­i­tor the released detainees, sup­port their return to the com­mu­ni­ty and super­vise their con­duct. The guar­an­tor state­ment is an infor­mal, not legal­ly bind­ing doc­u­ment that is word­ed to align with the Pash­tun­wali code.

The Afghan-led pro­gram for releas­ing detainees was imple­ment­ed ear­li­er this year and stress­es the impor­tance of rein­te­gra­tion into Afghan soci­ety. Since the pro­gram began in Jan­u­ary, near­ly 130 peo­ple have been released from the Deten­tion Facil­i­ty in Par­wan dur­ing the for­mal cer­e­monies after sign­ing a pledge to renounce vio­lence. JTF-435 is com­mit­ted to safe, secure, humane care and cus­tody of detainees con­sis­tent with inter­na­tion­al law.

While in JTF-435’s care, detainees may also receive lit­er­a­cy and voca­tion­al train­ing to enable them to peace­ful­ly rein­te­grate into their vil­lages and soci­ety after they are released.

Press release
Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es