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.
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases