MAIMANA (Pajhwok): Many military prisoners held at the central jail in Maimana, the capital of northern Faryab province, are complaining about non-implementation of a presidential decree pardoning and reducing their jail terms.
They say 5,000 Taliban prisoners were freed without any conditions but military prisoners who served their people from one to four decades remain behind bars.
On August 10, the president released a decree pardoning some and reducing sentences of others.
The prisoners in Maimana Central Jail also sent a video clip to Pajhwok Afghan News, in which they demanded that their voice should be shared with the president.
Sayed Aslam, one of the inmates who introduced himself as a police officer, said, “I have served the country for 40 years but I was sentenced to 20 years in jail for negligence in duty. It has been seven years since I am in the jail, I was happy the presidential decree will help release me, but unfortunately the decree is yet to be enforced and jail officials reject it.”
Haji Lotfullah, another prisoner in the jail, said that the president’s decree for their release and reduction in sentences was implemented in many provinces of the country, but not in Faryab.
He asked local officials to pay serious attention to the issue and implement the president’s decree.
Meanwhile, Attaullah, another military prisoner, addressing the interior and defense ministers, said: “I have served the government for 28 years and I am now in jail since last eight years, no one is inquiring about our situation and no one listens to our voice.”
He also asked the government to listen to their complaints and implement the presidential decree that benefited them.
However, Mohammad Ghaus Amiri, Faryab appellate prosecution head, said that the enforcement of presidential decrees regarding prisoners was previously the responsibility of the prosecution but now the responsibility rested with the jail’s directorate.
He said a copy of the decree had been shared with the police headquarters, intelligence headquarters, women’s affairs department and the Independent Human Rights Commission, but the commission tasked with implementing the decree was yet to act in this regard.
Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Yar Mohammad Hazrati, former Faryab jail in charge, said that he had sent a letter about implementation of the decree to all relevant organs before he was transferred to Sar-i-Pul province, but relevant officials did not do their job on time.
Col. Mohammad Naser, acting chief of Maimana Central Jail, said that members of the commission responsible for implementation of the presidential decree had found that the degree was not related to the military prisoners.
He said that the decree did not provide explanation whether inmates who benefited from a previous decree could also be benefited from a second one or not.
“Despite the General Directorate of Jails assurance that there would be no problem in implementation of the decree, but the commission members insist that they cannot enforce it until there is an official order in this regard”, he said.
Naser said that six of 64 military prisoners would probably be released and the sentences of others would be short when a letter confirming the decree arrived from General Directorate of Jails.
Hamidullah Azimi, acting Independent Human Rights Commission head for Faryab, who is also member of the commission enforcing presidential decrees regarding prisoners, said that there were some issues in the decree.
“The decree does not apply to all military prisoners, because if a murderer of a person is not pardoned by the family of the victim, he cannot be released, so there is need for explanation in this part”, he said.