A report published today by the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) found that almost half (125 or 46 per cent) of the 273 conflict-related detainees UNAMA interviewed who had been held by Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS) had experienced torture, as defined under international law, and 41 (35 per cent) of the 117 detainees held by the ANP experienced treatment that constituted torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
“UNAMA’s findings indicate that mistreatment is not an institutional or Government policy,” said Steffan de Mistura, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan. “The fact that the NDS and Ministry of the Interior cooperated with UNAMA’s detention observation programme suggests that reform is both possible and desired as does the Government’s announced remedial actions to end these abusive practices. UNAMA welcomes the Government’s timely attention to this issue and steps taken to put in place corrective and preventive measures.”
In early September ISAF stopped transferring detainees to 16 installations identified as places where, according to UNAMA, torture took place. Afghan officials have launched their own inquiries, have begun to change procedures and say they will punish anyone found to be responsible for such behaviour. Hmmm.