KABUL, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- United States Forces-Afghanistan ( USFOR-A) on Monday slammed the release of Taliban prisoners by the government of Afghanistan from Bagram prison.
"United States Forces-Afghanistan has learned that under direction of the Afghan government, the Afghan Review Board (ARB), led by Abdul Shakoor Dadras, has ordered the release of the first 37 of 88 dangerous individuals under dispute who are legitimate threats to security and for whom there is strong evidence or investigative leads supporting prosecution or further investigation," the USFOR-A said in a statement issued here.
The U.S. handed over the control of the Bagram prison, 50 km north of Kabul, to Afghanistan in March last year.
The statement noted that this extra-judicial release of detainees is a major step backward in further developing the rule of law in the central Asian country.
"The ARB is releasing these individuals without referral to an investigative body or the Afghan justice system despite the fact that the U.S. has disputed these 88 cases," the statement added.
Earlier this month, the Afghan chief presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi told Xinhua that there are incriminating evidences against only 16 prisoners out of 88 inmates held in Bagram detention center.
"Of the 88 detainees under dispute, 40 percent have participated in direct attacks wounding or killing 57 Afghan citizens and security force members and 30 percent participated in direct attacks wounding or killing 60 U.S. or coalition force members," the statement added.
The U.S. has provided extensive information and evidence on each of the 88 detainees. The disputed cases contain strong evidence of violations of Afghan law or strong investigative leads requiring review by the Saranwal for prosecution or further investigation by the National Directorate of Security, the Afghan spy agency, according to the statement.
"The U.S. has exercised its option under the March 2013 Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to dispute the release of these individuals and seek a bilateral exchange of views in all 88 disputed cases. The ARB was established to provide an administrative review of former U.S. Law of Armed Conflict detainees transitioning to the Afghan criminal justice system," it said.
The ARB is releasing back to society dangerous insurgents who have Afghan blood on their hands. The 37 being released include 17 who are linked to the production of or attacks using improvised explosive devices; three who participated in or had knowledge of direct attacks wounding or killing 11 ANSF members and four who participated in or had knowledge of direct attacks wounding or killing 42 U.S. or Coalition Force members, it noted.
The statement came while the relations between Kabul and Washington remained strain over the signing of a controversial security and defense agreement between the two countires.