U.S. to transfer some Guantanamo detainees to Afghanistan

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Friday, August 5, 2005

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Afghan citizens currently held captive in US prisons at Guantanamo Bay and Bagram will be transferred to the custody of Afghan authorities following an agreement reached Thursday between United States diplomats and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The agreement did not immediately establish a timetable for the repatriation. None of the detainees have been charged with any crimes.

Karim Rahimi, the Afghani presidential spokesman said today, "Afghanistan and the United States reached an understanding that will allow for the gradual transfer of Afghan detainees to the exclusive custody and control of the Afghan government."

The U.S. government spokesman Lou Fintor said, "The United States intends to assist the government of Afghanistan in building its capacity to detain these individuals, this process is part of our ongoing efforts to transfer detainees to their home countries as appropriate and when we receive assurances that the country can and will take appropriate steps to ensure that these individuals do not pose a continuing threat."

Fintor said the decision was reached after, Pierre-Richard Prosper, U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes, and Matthew Waxman, the Pentagon's deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, met with President Karzai on Thursday. There are still 520 detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison facility.

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