The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) stated that in accordance with International Humanitarian Law, detainees convicted of war crimes or crimes against humanity, or currently in trial for these crimes, should not be released in before or even after the peace negotiations.
The AIHRC issued a statement on Saturday and said that the beginning of the peace talks are being “held up over the issue of prisoner release.”
“Acknowledging that peace is crucial for advancing human rights and protecting civilians, it is important to also consider the rights and interests of victims, and the due process rights of those in detention,” the rights organisation said.
The commission added that the government and the Taliban need to make more detailed information available on the status of conflict-related prisoners that they currently hold.
The AIHRC was also concerned that any detainees released, must be monitored by an independent third party to “prevent criminal activity, in particular that which may lead to further victimization of civilians” after reports emerged of released Taliban members returning to the frontlines.
They asked the government to provide detailed information to the public about the status of the 592 Taliban prisoners that the government has refused to release, citing moral and criminal offences and grave violations.
They also called on the government to allow the AIHRC monitor the 592 Taliban detainees to “assess conditions of detention and treatment.”
The rights body also asked the Taliban to provide information to the public about the situation of all prisoners of war that are detained by the group.
“The Taliban has reportedly released approximately 700 ANDSF detainees,” the AIHRC noted and urged the group to allow for as assessment by the rights body or a third party or international experts.
The Afghan government has so far released 4,400 Taliban prisoners and have asked the Taliban for a new list of 592 prisoners, which the group has refused.
Meanwhile, the government has also said they have doubt whether the Taliban hold 1,000 Afghan forces as prisoners, since the released detainees include civilians.