Torture widespread 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 , 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 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 to which it does not hand over prisoners - one of them is in Kunduz. A spokesperson for the Dutch defence ministry told 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 coach Afghan officers making arrests, but do 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 system in Afghanistan.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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