Large-scale torture in Afghan prisons

8th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Prisoners are allegedly being tortured in the Afghan province of Kunduz, where Dutch police trainers are taking part in a NATO mission.

In a report published in Thursday’s edition of national newspaper de Volkskrant, Afghan human rights organisation AIHRC says prisoners are regularly tortured for confessions and only rarely have access to a lawyer.

The BBC reported on Tuesday that a UN report has made the same findings, but the UN has so far declined to comment because its report is not due out until the end of the month. According to the BBC, the report states that prisoners are systematically beaten, given electric shocks, and have their finger nails pulled out.

The ISAF international forces have a blacklist of at least nine detention centres that it does not hand over prisoners to. A spokesperson for the Dutch defence ministry told de Volkskrant that it was “difficult” to say what the consequences of the UN report would be for the Dutch police training mission. “We will wait for the UN report.”

The spokesperson said Dutch police trainers will coach Afghan officers making arrests, but not make any themselves. “We do need to ensure prisoners do not end up in places where we don’t want them to be.” In addition to police trainers, the Netherlands has also sent legal experts to train public prosecutors and judges in order to improve the judicial chain.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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