The multi-year US concern about handing over Bagram to the Afghan government centered around concerns of what it would mean if they were given access to actual courts. The post-handover results make it much easier to see why that was.
After the handover, Afghan courts started giving the detainees reviews, and of the 764 cases reviewed so far, fully 85% of them, 650 in all, have been released outright because there was no credible evidence against them.
Though the handover came with “assurances” that the Karzai government would block releases of those the US objects to most, such a ridiculously high percentage of detainees held without evidence is a major eye-opener about just how little excuse the US felt it needed to put people into open-ended detention.
The 764 cases are only the beginning, and Bagram contained some 3,000 “suspects” at the time of handover. This suggests thousands of additional releases will be forthcoming as the review process advances.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
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