Afghan government releases 80 of final 400 Taliban prisoners

Disagreement over the release of the prisoners, who include some of those accused in connection with some of Afghanistan’s bloodiest attacks, has delayed negotiations for months as the United States withdraws troops under a deal signed with the Taliban in February.

Protesters freed in Belarus speak of prison beatings

As the European Union prepares to consider possible sanctions against the Belarusian authorities over a crackdown on demonstrators angry over what they believe was a rigged presidential election on Sunday, some protesters walked free from the Okrestina detention facility.

IS prisoner issue a ticking timebomb for the West

The IS prisoners no-one wants How do countries deal with IS returnees? What is Islamic State? Under the so-called caliphate those enforcers belonged to the Hisbah, the female morality police, who meted out harsh punishments. Today, despite being behind barbed wire in the camps, they have effectively reconstituted themselves as the same thing.

Afghan authorities begin release of ‘dangerous’ Taliban prisoners

A prisoner swap formed part of a deal signed by the Taliban and the United States in February, which saw Washington agree to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in return for a pledge from the insurgents to hold peace talks with the Afghan government.

Islamic State group: Europe has ticking time bomb in prison camps

So the net result is that Europe has failed to act and the problem has been left to fester. As well as dangerous jihadists, thousands of innocent women and children have been left in limbo in these camps where in some cases those who do not follow IS’s draconian rules are getting either indoctrinated or […]

Taliban prisoner release: Afghanistan frees final 400 Taliban convicts

Among the 400 detainees, 156 had been sentenced to death, according to a list provided to Germany’s DPA news agency by the National Security Council. Other militants were convicted for homicide, kidnapping, drug smuggling and other serious crimes.

UK Foreign Office urged to secure safety of three rights activists in Gulf

“One of the charges against her is meeting with a British embassy official in Riyadh, so I hope the Foreign Office realises it has a special responsibility to do everything to campaign for her,” Lina al-Hathoul said. “Her morale was very low psychologically. The last time she was not allowed to see anyone for three […]

‘It’s like a war’: beatings and indiscriminate arrests as armed men roam streets of Minsk

He said ballots had also been seized by police and votes changed to those for Lukashenko. “There is nowhere to get for help to the people of Belarus,” he said. “People are simply intimidated, because at the moment, almost every family has someone repressed in one way or another: beaten, kidnapped, or has seen these […]

Knife-edge Polish presidential race could slow the march of populism

While it is not clear that the harsh rhetoric has won Duda new voters, there is no doubt that it is popular among some conservatives. Trzaskowski has tried to sidestep the issue during the campaign and, on Saturday said he was also against same-sex adoption. Instead he has preferred to focus on a positive agenda […]

Romania and Bulgaria to join EU

The strong criticisms in today’s report will strengthen the hand of critics who say that Romania and Bulgaria are not ready to join the EU. But the commission will argue that allowing them to join in January – given that its only sanction is a year long delay until 2008 – is the best way […]