Mar 27, 2019
CAPS Hosts International Committee of the Red Cross For A Discussion on Detainees

On 25th March 2019, the Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies (CAPS) hosted Benjamin Wahren, deputy head of delegation and Joost Jan De Otter, health care program manager of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Afghanistan for a luncheon. CAPS’ deputy director, Hekmatullah Azamy welcomed the delegation and provided an overview of the center and its activities.
In the meeting, CAPS’s legal department head Mohammad Yahya Ibrahimi, CAPS Advisory Shura (CAS) member Allah Dad Balkhi, head of CAPS office in Bagram Mohammad Ashraf Stanikzai and Research Analyst Sabawoon Zwak were also present.
Mr Azamy talked about CAPS legal program that provides pro-bono legal assistance to security detainees in Afghanistan. Since its inception in 2009, the CAPS has represented over 6,000 cases and facilitated the release of around 2,000 security detainees. He also explained CAPS Advisory Shura and its role in mediating the release of Afghan soldiers and government employees from Taliban custody. Mr Azamy said that members of Advisory Shura have been very active in supporting the peace process and engage with all sides.
Similarly, Mr. Wahren briefed CAPS about the ICRC activities in Afghanistan and elaborated the recent suspension of its operations in Afghanistan.
In the meeting, the current conditions of Afghan prisons particularly in Puli Charkhi and Bagram were also discussed. CAPS shared concerns of its clients with ICRC regarding problems with family visiting in Bagram, lack of proper health facilities and medicine, ill treatment of detainees, unavailability of warm clothes in winter in both Puli Charkhi and Bagram prisons.  CAPS clietns also complain about the recent stricter laws and harsh behavior towards security detainees in the Afghan judicial institutions.
Praising CAPS for its activities, Mr Wahren said the continuation of CAPS’ legal program is very crucial given that the prison conditions and the detainees number continue to increase. Finally, both Mr. Azamy and Mr. Wahren agreed to hold a follow up meeting so CAPS and ICRC can further coordinate and explore ways to collaborate in the future.