Holland tells Afghans: prosecute the torturers

13th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Police and prison wardens who torture detainees must be prosecuted and punished. A senior foreign ministry official says this is what the Netherlands has told the authorities in Afghanistan.

The Dutch government was responding to a United Nations report published on Monday about torture in Afghan detention centres. The Netherlands has largely withdrawn its troops from Afghanistan but is engaged in training Afghan police officers in Kunduz province.

The Afghan authorities have started an investigation of the accusations and promised that appropriate measures will be taken. The guilty parties will lose their jobs. The Netherlands argues this is not enough and they must be tried.

Kunduz province is named several times in the report. There is said to be compelling evidence of torture and abuse at the provincial headquarters of the Afghan police and at the district police station in Dasht-e-Archi in Kunduz.

The report contains concrete examples. At police headquarters one detainee had the soles of the feet lashed with cables and his back beaten with a metal bar. He was offered the choice of confessing to murder or paying a bribe. A 16-year-old at the same police station was kicked and punched to get him to admit membership of the Taliban. In Dasht-e-Archi a chained prisoner was beaten with rifles and rocket launchers.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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