Afghan Officials Reject UN Prisoner Abuse Allegations

Posted October 11th, 2011 at 5:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Afghan officials on Tuesday rejected a United Nations report alleging the systematic torture of some Afghan detainees and prisoners at detention facilities run by the Afghan National Directorate of Security and the Afghan National Police.

The U.N. report issued Monday found torture to be widespread. It said police and intelligence officers routinely beat suspects, subjected them to electric shock, sexually abused them, and placed them in stress positions to obtain a confession.

The report said the abuse became so pervasive that in July, U.S. and NATO forces stopped handing over suspected Taliban insurgents to Afghan-run detention centers in several provinces.

On Tuesday, the Afghan government denied the worst of the allegations, but acknowledged what it called “deficiencies” in the detainee system.

The Interior Ministry said it will investigate claims of mistreatment and introduce serious reform if necessary. The NDS also refuted the allegations and noted the facilities were open to inspectors.

The Washington regional director of Human Rights Watch, Tom Malinowski, said the report clearly implicates the NDS and also some police units and that they will have to clean up their act.

U.S. officials say the Embassy in Kabul is devising a monitoring system for Afghan-run detention centers, while a NATO statement said allied officials are working with the U.S. to establish new safeguards to prevent detainee abuse.