Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, November 16, 2007

Rights group exposes prisoner abuse in Afghanistan

Amnesty International appealed to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on Tuesday to stop transferring prisoners to Afghan authorities, Agence France-Presse reported the next day.

The human rights group expressed concern over abuse of prisoners in the Afghan prison system, citing incidents such as whippings, beatings, exposure to extreme cold, and food deprivation.

Amnesty also called on ISAF to stop “any further transfers of detainees to the Afghan authorities and take responsibility for the custody of such detainees until effective safeguards against torture and other ill-treatment are introduced in the Afghan detention system.”

However, NATO-spokesman James Appathurai said he has not received evidence that such abuses were occurring. Although he admits there may be problems in the system, he stressed the need to treat Afghanistan as a sovereign country with a sovereign government.

“It's true there are concerns. This is precisely why the allies have invested, and a lot, in the reform of the Afghan institutions, including the NDS. It's the only appropriate and acceptable way to improve the situation,” he said, referring to Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security by its initials.

“Afghanistan is a sovereign country,” he continued. “It’s not up to NATO to put a parallel detention system in place on Afghan territory.”

For the full article, click here.


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