Afghan Delegation Calls Conditions at Guantanamo Bay ‘Humane’

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The New York Sun

KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan delegation returning from a 10-day visit to the American detention center at Guantanamo Bay said yesterday that prison conditions there were “humane.”

The head of the delegation, Abdul Jabar Sabhet of the Interior Ministry, said the delegation was given the chance to speak freely with all 96 Afghan prisoners about their living conditions. Mr. Sabhet said there were “only one or two” complaints.

“Conditions of the jail was humane. There were rumors in this country about that. It was wrong.What we have seen was okay,” he said.

Mr. Sabhet’s assessment comes five days after the suicides of three detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

He said more than half of the Afghan prisoners were expected to be transferred soon, though he didn’t have an exact date.

“We ensure the Afghan people that Afghan prisoners will soon return to our country,” he said.

Last August, America and the Afghan government announced an agreement to send Afghans held at the detention center and elsewhere back to their country. No date was specified at the time.

Those expected to be released soon were accused of less serious crimes, Mr. Sabhet said.

American and allied Afghan forces captured thousands of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda members in Afghanistan after an American-led invasion toppled the repressive Taliban government in late 2001.

Hundreds of detainees were classified as “enemy combatants” and transferred to Guantanamo. Many have since been returned home.

The New York Sun

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