ASADABAD (Pajhwok): The jail in eastern Kunar province has turned into a learning center for inmates and offering some sort of facilities to prisoners as well, some of the inmates have said.
Mosque, religious seminary, learning center, play ground, clean drinking water and five bed hospital have made the jail different from other prisons in the country. Amir Mohammad is one of the inmates who has spent about 17 years in Pul-i-Charkhi and Kunar jails.
Mohammad told Pajhwok Afghan News: “I was arrested in Bati Kot district and later shifted to Pul-i-Charkhi jail where I remained for three years. I don’t have anyone in my family who would visit and meet me in Pul-i-Charkhi. My son is hardly 10 years old.”
He demanded the authorities concerned to transfer him to Kunar jail where he remained for last two years. Comparing the atrocities of Pul-i-Charkhi jail, Kunar prison has more facilities and he feels like living in home.
“I get all my rights here and I have learnt several professions like making toy cars for children and artificial flower making which have become sources of income for my children,” he narrated.
He added other inmates and his jail tenure had been reduced several times with presidential decrees. His jail had been reduced over three years and appreciated authorities.
Mohammad Sarwar, another inmate in Kunar, remained in jail for the last few years. He said: “The government has reduced 20 months of imprisonment while I have spent around four years here in Kunar Jail. I have learnt Quran by heart during the period and I teach Quran to other inmates.”
He said most inmates were illiterate but they had learnt Quran by heart while some had improved their Tajweed (Arabic pronunciation of reciting Quran) and 25 inmates had completed Quran learning in last five months.
Ajmal, an inmate, has learnt carpentery in his four years jail term and later he has trained at least nine other inmates as carpenters in Kunar jail. Ajmal said: “I earn good amount by making furniture since the government provides wood for making furniture.”
He saved at least 2,500 Afghanis by making beds and around 180 Afghanis by making chair or table which he sent to his family for their living.
Ibrahim is a tailor in the prison who has received equipments from government and he shares his skills of tailoring with other inmates. He said he sewed cloths of local people as well as officials in jail.
Col. Noor Rahman Noor, a jail official, said inmates were provided with all legal facilities and rights. Noor said around 235 inmates were in Jail out of which 97 were arrested under local and foreign security threats, 40 others were under investigation where as the remaining were arrested in other crimes. He confirmed the facilities provided to inmates in jail.
Noor mentioned that Kunar prison did not have separate block for women prisoners who were sent to Nangarhar central jail.
Sabrina Hamedi, director of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in eastern zone, appreciated facilities provided to inmates and said that all prisoners in Kunar jail received equal facilities. She appreciated the jail official for provision of health facilities and had turned jails as learning centers.
Kunar jail is situated, in a mountainous region, around 6 kilometers from Asadabad which have been reconstructed at a cost of $1700,000 million on 2.5 acres of land by US troops. The jail accommodates around 400 prisoners in its two storey buildings which has a mosque, five bed hospital, religious seminary, learning center and a play ground as well as clean drinking water and electricity facilities.