(RTÉ.ie news) Aug. 10, 2008 – The Defence Department said that elite Australian troops in Uruzgan had last week taken in Mullah Bari Ghul and believe he is a central figure in extremist attacks in the region.
Defence chiefs said Mullah Bari Ghul organised money, equipment and foreign fighters for extremist operations in Uruzgan and acted as shadow governor authorising attacks across the region.
Brigadier Brian Dawson said Mullah Bari Ghul was also ultimately responsible for the 13 July suicide bomber attack in the Deh Rawood bazaar that killed 21 Afghans and injured a further 12.
No details about the capture were revealed. Mullah Bari Ghul is being held in a Dutch detention facility in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan.
“This is a step backwards for the treatment of detainees in Afghanistan. Several major NATO members, including the Dutch, had put in place safeguards to ensure that detainees would not be handed over to the US and recognized the real problems associated with the NDS. With this agreement, the Australians seem to have failed to learn any of the hard lessons of the recent past.”
Embassy The Hague
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2045
INFO RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL IMMEDIATE 0375
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
Classified By: DCM Mike Gallagher for reasons 1.5 (b,d)
- (S/NF) SUMMARY: FM Verhagen has serious concerns over the status of Afghan detainee, Mulla Bari Gul, who is reportedly in U.S. custody in Iraq. On November 5 the Foreign Minister must report to Parliament on detainees in Afghanistan and will be questioned as to the status of each detainee the Dutch have delivered to the Afghan authorities. If Bari Gul is not in Afghan control and not seen by Dutch Authorities, the consequences for future Dutch support in Afghanistan could be at risk. Post believes the case would gather significant and negative political and media coverage.
- (S/NF) Dutch Deputy Director for Political Affairs, Robert de Groot, summoned the DCM to the MFA to express FM Verhagen’s concern that Afghan detainee, Mulla Bari Gul has reportedly been moved to Iraq at the request of the “Americans”. The Australian forces picked up a valued target, Mulla Bari Gul, earlier this year. In accordance with existing protocol, they turned him over to the Dutch, and the Dutch subsequently turned him over to the Afghan authorities. The Dutch also notified Afghan human rights NGO’s. The Dutch are committed and required by Parliament to monitor the health and welfare of detainees that have been in their custody. In a first visit to Bari Gul a few delays were encountered but they were eventually able to see him. On a subsequent attempt, about two weeks ago, they were told he could not be seen as “he is in Iraq at the request of the Americans”.
- “You have now had Bari Gul for almost three weeks; he must get back under the control of Afghan authorities in Afghanistan”. De Groot concluded that the Dutch Embassy in Washington will be receiving instructions for either the Ambassador or DCM to seek high level appointments at the Department of State and the Pentagon today. He was not sure if Ambassador Jones-Bos would ask to see U/S Burns or Assistant Secretary Fried. He also said that Dutch authorities in Kabul are being asked to raise this with Ambassador Wood and General McKiernan.
[Dutch government intervention with Afghan President Karzai, U.S. State Dep’t, Pentagon and U.S. Embassies …]
Afghanistan’s security service blocked Canadian efforts to get a human rights group’s access to Afghan jails for three months in 2007, according to uncensored documents obtained by CBC News.
A version of the same document released by the federal government was heavily blacked out, but the uncensored version was leaked to the media.
The Afghan human rights agency was appointed by Canada to be its eyes and ears in Afghan prisons at the time. The rights group was supposed to help ensure the safety of detainees who had been transferred from Canadian troops to the Afghans. The Afghan security service, the NDS, took those detainees from the Canadians.
The uncensored version of the document states there were “… five failed attempts to access Kandahar NDS facilities in 2007.”
The document says the NDS response on detainee access was often, “You have your law, we have ours.” It says Afghan human rights experts “discussed the access problem with [Afghan] President [Hamid] Karzai … however, this did not help.”