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    Friday, August 05, 2005

    Afghan Detainees Heading Home... "Soon"

    Stardate 4353.0

    KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghans held in U.S. military custody at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere will be sent back to Afghanistan to be detained here, Afghan and U.S. officials said Thursday.

    Hundreds of Afghans are being held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and at other American detention facilities. Afghanistan’s U.S.-backed President Hamid Karzai has long urged Washington to send them home.

    “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,” a joint statement by the U.S. Embassy and the Afghan government said.

    “The government of Afghanistan will accept responsibility for the returning Afghan citizens and will work to ensure that they do not pose a continuing threat,” it added.

    Well it sounds pretty good in print. In fact, browsing through the story, one would think it sounds really good. Long have many people, including myself, opposed the detention of "suspected insurgents" and the like, held without charge, trial or anything. The tales of torture and other nasty things seem to surface at an almost alarming rate. Getting a lot of these people home is a good start.

    However, reading further into the story, we can learn that there is no time-frame for this to occur as of yet. The Afghan government is not ready to receive hundreds of prisoners yet though they have been trying to secure their return for some time. Hopefully, when they finalyl do get back, either they are treated appropriately, that is, a trial perhaps, or set free if they pose no apparent threat.

    Of course, a good many of them would likely have a few grudges now, all things considered...

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