Counter-Narcotics Justice Center Detention Facility (CNJC)- Handover Ceremony

William R. Brownfield
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Kabul, Afghanistan
January 27, 2014

Thank you very much.

Deputy Minister Ahmadi, Director General Kohistani, CNJC chief judges, chief prosecutor, members of the United States Embassy to Afghanistan, ladies and gentlemen - good morning to you all.

Ladies and gentlemen, this morning we are gathered in the Counter-Narcotics Justice Center of Afghanistan, which represents a great and successful program of cooperation between Afghanistan and the United States of America. Here, ladies and gentlemen, are concentrated Afghanistan’s most skilled investigators, prosecutors, defenders and judges. Here there are hundreds of successful prosecutions. Every year here hundreds of criminals are convicted and removed from the streets and communities of Afghanistan. Here at the CNJC, Afghans are building a better future for Afghanistan.

But ladies and gentlemen, the CNJC is a victim of its own success. Because the CNJC is prosecuting so many drug traffickers, they do not have the detention space to hold them while they are pending trial. Today, with the assistance of General Kohistani and the Ministry of Interior, we will solve this problem. Today we inaugurate a new detention facility at the Counter-Narcotics Justice Center, a state-of-the–art, 21st Century detention facility. Here the CNJC will be able to detain as many as 308 suspects under maximum security conditions. This new wing, this new detention facility, is the result of cooperation between a superb group of Afghan and American engineers. They have built a facility that could stand with pride in any correction system anywhere in the world. We owe them all a debt of gratitude and thanks.

General Kohistani, today I will hand you the key to this detention facility. But in a symbolic way, it is a key not just to the detention facility. It is a key to a better future for Afghanistan. I thank you, I congratulate you, and I wish you the very best possible future.