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Karzai seeks prison, detainees control now

Karzai seeks prison, detainees control now
Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded the U.S.-led coalition turn over all Afghan prisoners in its custody and control of its main prison within a month. UPI/Allan Tannenbaum/Pool | License Photo

KABUL, Afghanistan, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded the U.S.-led coalition turn over all Afghan prisoners in its custody and control of its main prison within a month.

In his announcement Thursday, Karzai said his government had evidence Afghan law and prisoners' human rights were being violated at the prison, The New York Times said.

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Coalition leaders said they weren't consulted before the demand was made.

The coalition plans to turn over control of the prison and detainees to Afghan authorities, but the timing has been muddled because of delays in training Afghan guards to run the facility and because of concerns about torture and other abuses in Afghan-operated prisons.

Karzai said in his statement a report by senior Afghan officials found "many cases of violations of the Afghan Constitution and other applicable laws of the country, the relevant international conventions and human rights" at the American prison. The Times said the officers, all political appointees, and the report provided no details.

Karzai demanded all oversight of Afghan prisoners be transferred to Afghan authorities within a month, so that further violations of "Afghan sovereignty can be avoided."

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A Western official in Kabul suggested the Karzai administration was pursuing "public negotiation" in advance of talks with Washington on a strategic partnership document that will spell out the U.S. role in Afghanistan once NATO's combat mission ends in 2014.

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