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Government Frees 180 Hizb-e-Islami Prisoners

14 Jun 2018 Tolo News

 The Afghan government on Thursday freed 180 members of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hizb-e-Islami group from Pul-e-Charkhi in Kabul and Bagram prison. 


The release came as part of last year’s peace accorded signed between the Afghan government and the Hizb-e-Islami group. 


According to officials, the prisoners were arrested on charges of destructive activities and posing threats to Afghanistan and foreign countries. Some of the inmates have been serving sentences of up to 15 years in prison. 


“It does not benefit anyone, high ranking people are doing business, they have been sold,” said one freed prisoner Abdullah who was arrested on charges of having ties with armed opponents. 


He spent five years in prison and is a native of Laghman province. 


“There should be education and training opportunities for inmates in the jail, but there is only chaos,” said another freed prisoner Mohammad Omar. 


Samiullah is another Hizb-e-Islami member freed from prison who was accused of launching attacks on foreign forces. 


“I was defending my country and my dignity, this remains our principle and our aim, if it is not honored, we will do it again,” said Samiullah. 


Government officials meanwhile have said that 250 Hizb-e-Islami inmates were supposed to be released as part of the peace deal, but some cases have not yet been finalized. 


Eighty six of the prisoners released were being held at Bagram prison. 


“Hizb-e-Islami leadership expects that you (released inmates) become patriotic citizens for this country,” said Ghairat Baheer, head of Hizb-e-Islami-Government Peace Accord Commission. 


Until now over 500 Hizb-e-Islami inmates have been released in four phases. 


But Afghan citizens are afraid that some of these inmates will return to the battlefields. 

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