Former prison officer playing crucial role in Afghnistan

PUBLISHED: 15:24 17 August 2009 | UPDATED: 23:59 15 June 2010

A RETIRED prison officer from East Devon is in Afghanistan to advise the United Nations on the Afghan prison service.

A RETIRED prison officer from East Devon is in Afghanistan to advise the United Nations on the Afghan prison service.

Paul Biddle MBE has visited 14 of the country's 34 provinces to date.

Speaking from Afghanistan on Monday, he told the Herald: "I am currently assisting with crisis management for elections and hope to be home on leave in ten days.

"The current situation in Kabul is tense, with controlled explosions and threats of further attacks being reported."

When Mr Biddle first travelled to Afghanistan, he played a crucial role in calming a riot situation at Pol-e-Charki prison, in Kabul.

A protest about prison uniforms led 1,300 prisoners to attack guards and vandalise property.

As the authorities considered firing rocket-propelled grenades into the prison, when Mr Biddle opened negotiations which eventually restored calm.


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