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US releases Pakistani prisoners from Bagram

Nine men held in Afghanistan handed to Pakistani authorities, Red Cross says.

Last updated: 21 Aug 2014 17:37
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The releases are part of a process to repatriate all Pakistanis before the Bagram facility is shut down [Reuters]

The US has released nine Pakistani prisoners from Bagram prison in Afghanistan, the Red Cross has told the prisoners' families.

The prisoners - now in Pakistani custody - were handed over in garrison city of Rawalpindi outside the capital Islamabad on Thursday morning.

Tasneem Aslam, a spokeswoman for Pakistan's foreign office, told Al Jazeera that the prisoners had been released into Pakistani custody. She said the releases were part of an ongoing process to repatriate all Pakistanis at Bagram.

Acording to Pakistani government figures, there are at least 15 Pakistanis still at the Afghan prison.

The Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), which has been representing the families of Bagram prisoners since 2010, said the prisoners were now held by the Pakistani government, and called for their release.

Batches of Pakistani prisoners have previously been released by US authorities into Pakistani custody in May 2014 and November 2013. 

The JPP named some of the men who had been repatriated.

Abdul Nabi and Sadar Muhammad from Balochistan,Zabet and Imran from the Tribal Areas, and Muhammad Iqbal from Karachi had been held for several years without charge and access to a lawyer, according to the JPP.

Imtiaz Khan, Latifullah and Shoaib Khan from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Imran ul Hassan from Lahore, were also among those handed over to Pakistani authorities.

Pakistan's interior ministry, which handles the repatriations, did not respond to a request for comment from Al Jazeera.

US forces, who continue to operate the prison at Bagram air base, are due to hand over control of the facility to Afghan forces when they pull out of the country in December 2014.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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