Afghanistan and the United States Struggle over Releases of Detainees

After control of much of the Bagram detention center was handed over to Afghanistan in 2012, President Karzai “ordered authorities to review the cases of more than 3,000 prisoners” held at Bagram.[1]  In the course of 2012, “570 detainees have been released after acquittal in Afghan courts.”[2]  Nearly 1,000 prisoners have been released in 2012 overall, including prisoners whose cases never reached the Afghan courts.[3] This post analyzes the factors underlying these releases, and reports on the latest developments in <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>

Detention Process

Please click on the chart below for an expanded pdf image.


Jeff Bovarnick, Detainee Review Boards in Afghanistan: From Strategic Liability to Legitimacy, 2010 Army Law. 9, 15, available at

For the most current unclassified documentation of the DRB Procedures, see Letter from Mr. Phillip Carter, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Policy, to Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee (July 14, 2010), available at (including the six-page 2 July 2009 Detainee Review Procedures enclosure).

Andrea <Read More>