Taliban welcome release of inmates by Afghan govt

KABUL (AA): In a rare acknowledgement, the Taliban on Tuesday welcomed the Afghan government’s move to pardon and release hundreds of insurgents from different prisons.

This came as the Afghan government began releasing nearly 900 inmates from various prisons on the directives of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr.

“Granting the right of liberty back to the inmates is a good step, we hope all those countrymen are released as well those who were arrested or kept captive for years over wrong intelligence information, wrong reports or due to local rivalries”, Zabihullah Mujahed, the Taliban spokesman said in a statement shared on the social media.

Hamdullah Mohib, Ghani’s National Security Advisor, told local Tolo News last week that the decision to release 887 Taliban prisoners are in line with the demands of the people’s representatives at the Loya Jirga (a grand consultative meeting) for peace in April. 

Last month, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan expressed grave concerns about the Taliban torturing Afghan detainees as well as serious allegations that some detainees were killed.

The UN Mission expressed these apprehensions in a preliminary reports derived from face-to-face interviews with 13 detainees freed from a Taliban-run detention facility in Uruzgan province last month by the Afghan security forces.

It said the detainees provided consistent accounts of ill-treatment and torture, as well as the murder of civilians and security personnel. “Multiple detainees reported the murder of at least 11 others by the Taliban,” the report published on May 26 said.