Families urge Pakistan to free Bagram detainees
December 03, 2013 - 8:58:43 am
PESHAWAR: Family members and lawyers representing a group of Pakistani men released from a US military prison but held by Pakistani authorities urged the government yesterday to free them or explain why they are still being kept behind bars.
The six men were arrested by US authorities in neighbouring Afghanistan on suspicion of links to the Taliban but they were released on November 16 from the high-security Bagram prison there without charge.
They were repatriated to their homeland and have since been held at a prison in Peshawar in northwestern Pakistan.
“We don’t know on what charges they are being held,” Sarah Belal, one of the lawyers, said outside the sprawling Central Jail in Peshawar, a volatile and chaotic city on Pakistan’s Afghan border.
“We don’t know what evidence they are using to hold them. There is no evidence as far as we are concerned,” said Belal, who met the men inside the prison earlier in the day.
Pakistani prison or justice officials were not immediately available for comment.
Foreign prisoners at Bagram, which is often compared to the Guantanamo Bay jail in Cuba, have no trials, only review boards staffed by U.S. military officers. Dozens of Pakistani prisoners are believed to be held at Bagram without charge.
The boards evaluate evidence against them and whether the detainees might pose a future threat to US forces. Reuters