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Afghanistan criticizes swap for Bergdahl

Jun. 2, 2014 - 12:48PM   |  
Top, from left: Abdul Haq Wasiq, Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa, Mohammad Nabi Omari Bottom from left: Mohammad A Fazl, Mullah Norullah Noori
Top, from left: Abdul Haq Wasiq, Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa, Mohammad Nabi Omari Bottom from left: Mohammad A Fazl, Mullah Norullah Noori (Defense Dept.)
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KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry has criticized the U.S. for swapping Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo Bay to secure the release of a captured soldier.

In a statement Monday, the Foreign Ministry called the swap for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl “against the norms of international law” if it came against the five imprisoned Taliban detainees’ will. The ministry said: “No state can transfer another country’s citizen to a third country and put restriction on their freedom.”

The five detainees left Guantanamo on Saturday aboard a U.S. military aircraft flying to Qatar, which served as go-between in the negotiations. They are to be banned from leaving Qatar for at least a year.

Bergdahl was held captive for five years before his release Saturday. He is believed to have been held by the Haqqani network.

The 5 detainees swapped for U.S. soldier

Snapshots of the five people released from the Guantanamo Bay detention center in a swap for Taliban-held U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl:

■ Abdul Haq Wasiq, who served as the Taliban deputy minister of intelligence.

■ Mullah Norullah Nori, a senior Taliban commander in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif when the Taliban fought U.S. forces in late 2001

■ Khairullah Khairkhwa, who served in various Taliban positions, including interior minister, and had direct ties to Taliban leader Mullah Omar and al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden

■ Mohammed Nabi, who served as chief of security for the Taliban in Qalat, Afghanistan, and later worked as a radio operator for the Taliban’s communications office in Kabul

■ Mohammad Fazl, who Human Rights Watch says could be prosecuted for war crimes for allegedly presiding over the mass killing of Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan in 2000 and 2001 as the Taliban sought to consolidate control of the country

Under the conditions of release, the five are to stay within the borders of Qatar for at least a year.

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