Karzai says coalition can't arrest Afghans

Dec. 3, 2012 at 4:34 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- The Afghan National Security Council announced foreigners are forbidden from arresting Afghan citizens or operating prisons in the country.

The decree Sunday potentially complicates multinational military coalition efforts in Afghanistan, the independent U.S. military newspaper Stars and Stripes reported Monday.

A statement from Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office called foreign-run prisons "a breach of national sovereignty."

"No foreigners have a right to run prisons and detain Afghan nationals in Afghanistan," the statement added.

The ruling stems from a dispute between Karzai and the United Kingdom, whose defense minister said detainees captured by British forces would not be handed over to Afghan authorities because of their potential ill-treatment. The statement specifically mentioned the dispute and called for any remaining British prisons in Afghanistan to be turned over to Afghan control, although it is unclear if Karzai's comments have the force of law, Stars and Stripes said.

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