Bagram prison turned over to Afghan forces

March 25, 2013 at 12:46 PM

BAGRAM, Afghanistan, March 25 (UPI) -- U.S. forces in Afghanistan transferred control of the Bagram prison to the Afghan Defense Ministry in a ceremony Monday, military officials said.

The detention facility is next to Bagram Airfield in Parwan province.

"The transfer of the detention facility is an important part of the overall transition of security ... to Afghan National Security Forces. This ceremony highlights an increasingly confident, capable and sovereign Afghanistan," said Gen. Joseph F. Dunford,

commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan.

After the transfer, the Afghan government renamed the facility the Afghan National Detention Facility at Parwan, the International Security Assistance Force said in a release.

During a January meeting in Washington, U.S. President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai agreed to transfer the detainees held at Bagram to Afghan custody and control.

A memorandum of understanding signed during a ceremony by Dunford and the Afghan defense minister affirmed a commitment to the lawful, humane treatment of prisoners and to the protection of the people of Afghanistan and coalition forces.

"The American and Afghan people have a shared vision," Dunford said, "a secure, stable and sovereign Afghanistan that is a respected member of the international community."

The transfer had been delayed several because the two sides couldn't agree on the terms. Karzai had said he planned to release some prisoners after the handover while United States officials said they wanted to make sure no dangerous prisoners were freed. The ISAF did not say now the issues were resolved.

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