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Detainee torture in Afghanistan has increased: HRW

Detainee torture in Afghanistan has increased: HRW

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Apr 26, 2017 - 10:21

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The torture of conflict-related detainees in Afghanistaninfo-icon has increased over the past two years despite President Ashraf Ghani’s promise to end the practice, a rights group says.

Thirty-nine percent of detainees were subjected to beatings, electric shocks, or near suffocation by police and intelligence agents, according to the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA).

A senior Human Rights Watch researcher characterised the UNAMA report is a damning indictment of the government’s failure to take effective action against torture.

Patricia Gossman wrote in a dispatch UNAMA found in 2015-2016 the highest levels of torture of conflict-related detainees in police custody since it began monitoring detentions in 2010.

The UN mission also alleged 45 percent of children detained in relation to the conflict were tortured or mistreated. Kandahar’s police meted out the highest levels of abuse, torturing or mistreating 91 percent of detainees.

The torture techniques included pumping water into detainees’ stomachs, crushing their testicles with clamps, suffocating them to the point of losing consciousness and applying electric current to their genitals.

At a meeting in Geneva on April 25, members of the Committee Against Torture asked the Afghan delegation why very few police were ever disciplined for abuse, and not a single senior intelligence officer had been prosecuted for torture.

She said the committee’s experts asked the delegation on the government’s failure to provide statistics on complaints of torture and torture investigations.

The government is due to respond to the committee today (April 26). “But there is no reason to believe the delegation’s responses will provide a more hopeful picture of efforts to eliminate Afghanistan’s deeply entrenched torture and bring to justice those responsible,” Gossman said.

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