BRUSSELS, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday he was "gravely" concerned about Afghan security following the release of 65 detainees.
"I am gravely concerned by the decision of the Afghan authorities to release 65 detainees who are alleged to have been involved in killing and wounding Afghan civilians, Afghan security forces, and ISAF forces," he said in a statement.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul issued its own statement saying the prisoner release was in direct violation of a memorandum of understanding from 2012 that calls on the Afghan government to ensure detainees posing a threat to national security stay behind bars.
"We requested a thorough review of each case," the embassy said. "Instead, the evidence against them was never seriously considered."
The embassy said the Afghan government has responsibility for any consequences from the detainee decision. Rasmussen, for his part, said the decision "appears" to be a politically calculated move made without regard to due process.
NATO and the U.S. government have expressed frustration with Kabul's delay in signing a security agreement outlining a future military relationship. Planning for the 2014 withdrawal is in jeopardy without the agreement, they say.
Afghan Attorney General Mohammad Ishaq Aloko was quoted by CNN as saying the decision to release the prisoners was made according to "our" laws.