UN Report discloses torture of children in Afghan custody

In a report, released on Monday, the United Nations disclosed that torture is practiced systematically in some Afghan intelligence detention centers and children under 18 are among those who suffered.

The UN mission in Afghanistan said it had “compelling evidence” about Afghan intelligence officials at five centers, who “systematically tortured detainees for the purpose of obtaining confessions and information.”

The report explained that detainees described being hung by the wrists from the wall or ceiling; and being beaten especially with rubber hoses,electric cables or wires or wooden sticks and most frequently on the soles of the feet, the report said. Electric shock, stress positions including forced standing, removal of toenails and threatened sexual abuse were among other forms of torture that detainees reported, it added. Routine blindfolding and hooding, and denial of access to medical care in some facilities were also reported. The United Nations documented one death in Afghan custody from torture in Kandahar in April 2011.

The findings of the UN report were based on interviews with 379 pre-trial detainees and convicted prisoners at 47 detention centres across the country, conducted from October 2010 to August 2011, said the UN. It said 46 percent of the 273 detainees interviewed who had been held by the NDS “experienced interrogation techniques… that constituted torture and that torture is practiced systematically in a number of NDS detention facilities”.

 

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