Reintegration ceremony allows former detainees new start in life
April 20, 2009
BAGHDAD- Twelve former detainees were released to their sheiks and family members by the 7th Brigade, 2nd National Police Division with assistance from Soldiers of Company B, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, at Joint Security Station Doura during a reintegration ceremony April 13.
MND-B continues to implement the Security Agreement between the Governments of Iraq and the U.S. One component of the agreement was the release of detainees who no longer pose an imminent threat to the security and stability of Iraq. The overall goal is to release or transfer all detainees to the Iraq legal system in a safe and orderly manner which is consistent with the standards of the Geneva Convention.
The former detainees were escorted from their holding facility on Camp Cropper to their release location at JSS Dora before being given back to their sheiks and families with a pledge to abide by Iraqi laws.
"Once we get here to our drop off point, which for us has normally been JSS Doura, we will link up with Sheik Sala, who is kind of the 'reintegrator' if you will for the greater Doura region," said Sgt. 1st Class Neil Fletcher, first sergeant, Co. B, 1-505 PIR, which is currently assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. Fletcher was the non-commissioned officer in charge of the escort for the former detainees from Camp Cropper to JSS Doura.
"They'll go in and receive a reintegration class, they're given an oath to swear upon, and that's pretty much it. We're pretty hands off as soon as we come here," said Fletcher.
The 7th Brigade, 2nd National Police Division at JSS Doura took the lead in releasing the detainees as soon as they arrived, from escorting them off the convoy and giving them their reintegration class. This is just one more area where Iraqi Security Forces have stepped up to lead operations that were once Coalition Forces responsibilities.
Since the implementation of the Security Agreement on January 1, 2009, if U.S. forces detain or arrest any person authorized under the agreement or Iraqi law, the person must be handed over to competent Iraqi authorities within 24 hours from the time of their detention or arrest. This illustrates absolute Iraqi sovereignty.
"We're glad to be taking a small part in this," said Fletcher. "For us it's an indicator that Iraq can be self sufficient and self sustained. And this is progress for us, every time we do one of these it's yet another indicator that our job here is wrapping up."
After their reintegration class the detainees were released to their families who were waiting for them outside of JSS Doura, to return to normal life as citizens of Iraq.