One-third detainees in Afghanistan tortured: UN

Indo Asian News Service

Kabul, April 25 (IANS) At least one-third of people detained by security forces in Afghanistan are tortured despite the government's attempts to curb such practices, a UN agency said.

The report, published by the UN mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Monday, is based on interviews with 469 prisoners detained between January 1, 2015 and Dececember 31, 2016.

It stated that more than a third of the people interviewed had believable evidence of having suffered torture and abuse, Efe news reported.

"The continuing torture and ill-treatment of detainees is a matter of serious concern, but we acknowledge the genuine commitment and the efforts of the government to deal with this issue," said the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto.

According to UNAMA, 45 per cent of the interviewees who were arrested by the Afghan police said they were tortured and abused, while 26 per cent arrested by the National Directorate of Security claimed they had been tortured.

Furthermore, at least 38 of the 85 minors arrested had plausible evidence of being abused while in the custody of Afghan security forces.

"Many of those interviewed stated that they did not understand or could not read what was written on the 'confession' which they signed or thumb-printed," the report said.

UNAMA urged Afghan authorities to immediately stop the practice and to open impartial and independent investigations to clarify the cases.

Although it was present at the 1987 UN Convention and had agreed to remove all cruel punishments, Afghanistan still has not created a law to specifically penalize the violations.

Kabul approved a law proposal in Feb. that prohibited all forms of torture, but it still needs to be passed by the country's parliament or by the president before it comes into practice.

--IANS

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