The Legal Infrastructure—and Other Obstacles—Will Make It Difficult to Transition Detainees from U.S. Control to Afghan Control


In order to facilitate a full transition from U.S.-controlled detention facilities to Afghan-run facilities, and ultimately Afghan-prosecuted detainees, the Afghan legal system needs to be able to handle the number and complexity of these cases. But there are numerous obstacles preventing the implementation of an organized legal system in Afghanistan. Some of the major problems include: deficiency of structural facilities such as legal books, buildings, and communication systems, and ignorance of the law by judges in the more remote localities; <Read More>

President Karzai Urges Turnover of Detainees, But Is the Afghan Government Prepared for Them?

On January 5, 2012, Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded the turnover of the Detention Facility in Parwan (DFIP) from U.S. to Afghan control.[1] After months of negotiating and diplomatic positioning, on March 9, 2012, the U.S. agreed to transfer prisoners to Afghan control within six months.[2] The transfer agreement comes in the aftermath of a series of U.S. blunders, such as the February 2012 Qur’an burning[3] and allegations of U.S. abuses of Afghan detainees.[4] In addition, the transfer agreement comes <Read More>

Handover 2.0: The U.S. Prepares to Transfer Detainees to the Afghanistan Government

In 2008, the United States and the Iraqi government entered into an agreement that laid out the “principal provisions and requirements” for withdrawal of United States forces from Iraq.[i] Article 22 of the agreement dealt with the transfer to the Iraqi government of detainees held by the United States. Individuals held by the United States were either to be turned over to the Iraqi authorities pursuant to a valid Iraqi arrest warrant, or released “in a safe and orderly manner.”[ii]

Three <Read More>

What Happens to Afghan Detainees After the U.S. Hands Them Over to Afghanistan?

UPDATE (by Mike Yang Zhang)

What Happens to Afghan Detainees After the U.S. Hands Them Over to Afghanistan?

From March to September 2012, over 3,100 Afghan detainees were handed over from United States to Afghanistan control. The U.S. and Afghanistan have an agreement on the legal fate of these detainees in a Memorandum of Understanding, which outlines how detainees will be treated under Afghan control.[1]  Aside from the Memorandum, there are also two key Afghan documents, which provide essential detail on the <Read More>