Foreigners, women and Taliban members behind the bars of Afghan jails

cable- The Afghan Interior Ministry announced the number of detainees in its prisons for the first time since the Taliban movement came to power in 2021, and spoke of better conditions for detainees compared to the previous era.

Habibullah Badr, the military representative of the prison service, told Al Jazeera Net that the number of detainees in Afghan prisons had reached 19,000, including 25 foreigners, 800 women and 200 Taliban members. He said that work is going on on this. Issue “a law to reform prisons and prisoners throughout Afghanistan”.

Badr said, “I have lived through the bitterness and hardship of imprisonment, and I know the suffering and problems of detainees in Afghan prisons. I have tried to improve the conditions of prisons, and after great efforts I have reduced the number of prisoners. Was able to increase.” ' Benefit. We now pay each prisoner about two dollars, and the previous government spent less than a dollar a day on them. Continuous efforts are being made to improve their conditions.

A previous Afghan court had sentenced Taliban movement member Habibullah Badr to 49 years in prison with the death penalty after pleading guilty to engaging in “terrorist acts” against the government, but released him after the movement came to power. I went. Years after serving his sentence he was appointed as a military officer to monitor government prisons throughout Afghanistan.

foreign prisoner

For her part, Anna Corbett – the wife of an American detained by the Afghan government – ​​appealed for the release of her husband Ryan Corbett, who founded a business consultancy company in 2017 and left the capital Kabul with his family . This led to the withdrawal of US forces, but it returned there again in January 2022. Afghan authorities arrested him for resuming his work.

After 18 months have passed since Corbett's arrest, during which he has been able to speak to his family only three times by phone, the United States has demanded his release, but the Afghan government has yet to respond.

“A number of foreign nationals, including Americans, have been detained in Afghanistan due to their involvement in security and illegal issues,” Afghan government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Al Jazeera Net.

Experts on Afghan affairs believe that the arrests of American and European citizens during the reign of the previous Afghan government and the presence of American forces in Afghanistan were a fiction, despite their involvement in actions and activities contrary to the country's laws. Were. The current Afghan government arrested Americans and Britons on charges of espionage.

According to experts, there is another reason for his arrest, which is to put pressure on his country to support the Afghan government's position in the negotiations.

International relations researcher Abdul Kabir Noori told Al Jazeera Net, “The current government is keeping a close watch on foreigners, and wants to know what activities they are doing in Afghanistan. It arrested many of them on charges of espionage, And then later he was released.” , as happened with British citizens, where the British sat with the Afghan government delegation in Malaysia months ago.''

An aerial photo of Bolcharkhi prison in the capital Kabul
Bolcharkhi prison in the capital Kabul (Social Networking Sites)

afghan prisoner

The Afghan government was able to release Afghan detainees from prisons in Iran, Pakistan and the Emirates and the movement's leader Sheikh Hibatullah Akhundzada appointed a special committee to look after Afghan detainees in foreign countries.

Military representative Habibollah Badr told Al Jazeera Net, “We released 100,000 prisoners by the decision of the movement's leader Sheikh Hibatullah Akhundzadeh, and we were able to transfer 1,600 Afghan detainees from Iranian prisons to Afghanistan, and they are now serving their sentences. Cutting.” Afghan prisons.”

When the Taliban took over the administration of Afghan provinces in August 2021, they opened the doors of prisons and detention centers and released a large number of prisoners, including drug smugglers and ISIS members, causing major security problems for the current government. were born, and many defense lawyers and prosecutors also left. Afghan judges fear for their lives after being released from jail.

Two thousand drug smugglers and smugglers are currently being held in a prison called a “special prison” in the capital Kabul, in addition to 400 others, some of whom have been sentenced by the court to reprisals and life imprisonment.

As for detainees from the Taliban movement – ​​who number around 200 – an Afghan Interior Ministry source told Al Jazeera Net, “Afghan authorities are monitoring the ISIS file very seriously, and all those accused of having links with the organization are being prosecuted. “An eye is being kept.” were immediately arrested and sent for investigation, and among them there are people who have connections to the organization, as well as other people involved in illegal matters, and the court does not differentiate between the accused.

black dungeon
Afghan civilians who were former detainees at Bagram prison were subjected to torture and neglect (Anatolia)

Reality of Afghan prisons

The current government has – according to its own announcement – ​​abolished secret or private prisons, as they are called in Afghanistan, but human rights associations and civil activists are concerned that Afghan authorities do not allow access to and monitoring of prisons. Are. The work of the people in charge of them, nor do they allow local media to cover related news. With the prisoners.

Civil activist Azza Mahjoor told Al Jazeera Net, “We don't know what's happening behind the prison walls, because those in charge do not allow us to see the conditions of the prisoners, and they are also deprived of meeting with lawyers. “

“There is another problem, which is that the new authorities are not familiar with civil law and prisoner rights, and there are serious concerns about their handling of the cases of accused and detainees,” he said.

There are 27 prisons in Afghanistan, the most famous of which is the “Central Prison” in the capital, Kabul, which holds 5,000 to 14,000 prisoners. It was built in the 1970s on the orders of former President Muhammad Dawood Khan. It became famous as a notorious prison after the Communists came to power in 1978, when they executed approximately 27,000 political prisoners, the most famous of whom was the last Prime Minister Muhammad Musa Shafiq.

During the presence of the US military in Afghanistan, the name “Black Prison” emerged, which the US military built at the Bagram base north of the capital Kabul. They used it to arrest Taliban terrorists and major drug traffickers. After these forces on the left, the current government closed it down due to its bad reputation.

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