US frees 80 Afghan detainees

Agence France Presse

Kabul, January 16:

Eighty Afghan detainees were released from US custody at Bagram air base near Kabul and turned over to Afghan authorities today, government officials and detainees said. The 80 prisoners arrived at Afghanistan’s Supreme Court in two buses this afternoon from the US detention facility at Bagram Airbase for a hearing, they said.

A government source said that all the detainees had been released from Bagram in Afghanistan, contradicting an earlier statement from a court spokesman that they had been released from a US military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Supreme Court spokesman Waheed Mujda had told reporters that “80 Afghan prisoners have been released from Guantanamo, they have been taken into Afghanistan and today they will appear before the Supreme Court where their fate will be decided.” However prisoners interviewed by AFP said they had been detained at US military headquarters in Afghanistan at Bagram air base. “I was arrested at my home in Naw Zad district of Hilmand province 10 months ago. I don’t know why I was arrested and I was in Bagram,” Mohammed Yusef, 31, said.