Detainees tortured in Afghanistan - Asia - World - The Independent

Detainees tortured in Afghanistan

Suspected Taliban fighters have been subjected to beatings, electric shocks and other forms of torture in some Afghan-run detention centers but the abuse was not the result of government policy, the United Nations said today.

The 74-page U.N. report found that detainees in 47 facilities in 24 provinces run by the Afghan National Police and the Directorate of Security suffered interrogation techniques that constituted torture under both international and Afghan law.



The NATO-led international military coalition announced last month that it had stopped transferring detainees to 16 of the facilities. NATO was taking action to help fix the problem before resuming the transfers, the report said.



The report said Afghan security ministries cooperated with the investigation and have taken measures to stop the abuse after being presented with the report. Although Afghan security officials have long been suspected of torturing detainees to elicit information and confessions, the report for the first time confirms the practice and outlines much of the abuse.



International organizations and governments have spent years trying to bring good governance and rule of law to Afghanistan, a goal that has taken added significance following a decision to hand over security responsibilities to the Afghan government by the end of 2014 — when all foreign combat troops are to leave the country.



Drafted by the U.N.'s Afghan mission, known as UNAMA, the report was based on interviews with 379 detainees being held at the various facilities and conducted from October 2010 to August 2011.



The report said most of the detainees were "suspected of being Taliban fighters, suicide attack facilitators, producers of improvised explosive devices, and others implicated in crimes associated with the armed conflict in Afghanistan."



It said it "found the use of interrogation techniques that constitute torture under international law and crimes under Afghan law, as well as other forms of mistreatment."



The report said torture methods included suspending people by their wrists, beating the soles of the feet, electric shocks, twisting detainees' genitals, removing toe nails and being put in stress positions.



UNAMA said the torture aimed to obtain information and confessions, which it said are often the sole form of evidence submitted in Afghan criminal trials. Judges often find such confessions "both persuasive and conclusive of the defendant's guilt."



Afghan authorities have taken steps to stop the abuse, UNAMA said.



The report said that Afghan officials have "stated clearly" that they have a plan to address the concerns. They have opened investigations, reassigned personnel and have indicated that those responsible will be suspended from their positions and in serious cases, prosecuted, the report said.



The report was issued as part of a U.N. program to observe detention facilities.



"UNAMA's findings indicate that mistreatment is not an institutional or government policy," said Staffan de Mistura, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan.



He added that Afghan government cooperation "suggests that reform is both possible and desired as does the government's announced remedial actions to end these abusive practices."



The European Union also said it welcomed the Afghan government's commitment to stop abuse.



"The EU reiterates that all concerned parties must respect and guarantee the fundamental rights of all detainees, to eradicate all forms of torture and ill-treatment, to bring those responsible for such acts to justice and to adhere to and comply with the relevant international norms and standards," said Vygaudas Usackas, the head of the EU's delegation and its special representative to Afghanistan.



Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior said five Afghan civilians died in twin explosions Monday in the Dangam district of Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan.



A civilian vehicle struck a roadside bomb, shortly followed by another blast that hit passers-by running to the scene to help. Four people were killed and two wounded, the ministry said.



NATO also said one of its service members died in southern Afghanistan. It said an investigation was launched into the death to determine the circumstances. It provided no further details.



A total of seven NATO members have died in Afghanistan in October, and 461 since the start of the year.





Source: AP

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
News
i100
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Manager with some Agile experience

£45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...

Data/ MI Analyst

£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...

KS1 Teacher Cornwall

£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Ltd...

Corporate Communications Manager - London - up to £80,000

£60000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Corporate Marketing Communications M...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week