HL Deb 04 February 2003 vol 644 c17WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have discovered, or will seek to discover, the number of prisoners of war now held in Afghanistan by General Dostum and other military commanders; in particular what number is held in the fortress of Shiberghan; and whether the reputation of the United States and United Kingdom governments will suffer unless all surviving prisoners are brought to trial or released. [HL1137]

Baroness Amos

The British Embassy in Kabul receives periodic updates from the ICRC on prisoners held in Afghanistan by the Afghans. The latest information we have is that Shiberghan currently holds around 1,200 prisoners, half of them Pakistanis. We understand a number of prisoners were released from Shiberghan in February 2002 and some 50 Afghan prisoners were released in mid-January 2003 under a presidential amnesty. The international coalition has no control over prisoners held by Afghan authorities or other Afghan elements, although Her Majesty's Government continue to underline to the Afghan authorities the importance of them fulfilling their obligations under the international human rights instruments to which Afghanistan is party.