[DEBATE] : Nato urged to end Afghan torture ... err ...transfer
Riaz K. Tayob
riazt at iafrica.com
Tue Nov 13 09:12:19 GMT 2007
Nato urged to end Afghan transfer
Nato countries risk turning a blind eye to torture by continuing to
transfer detainees to Afghan prisons, according to a report from Amnesty
The report cites what it calls "consistent" incidences of torture and
other abuse by Afghanistan's intelligence service, the NDS.
International law prohibits the transfer of prisoners if there is reason
to suspect abuse or torture.
But Nato says Afghanistan has the legal responsibility for Afghan prisoners.
Amnesty wants transfers to cease until proper safeguards are put in place.
Some members of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force
(Isaf) - including the UK, the Netherlands and Canada - have
"memorandums of understanding" with the Afghan authorities, which are
supposed to ensure that transferred detainees are treated according to
But Amnesty says that proper monitoring of the agreements is impossible,
partly because much of the country is inaccessible.
The report says that prisoners have been whipped, exposed to extreme
cold and deprived of food.
And it concludes that all prisoner transfers should be suspended while
efforts are made to improve Afghanistan's prisons and training is given
to Afghan prison staff.
It is not for Nato to create a parallel detention structure outside the
law of the land
Only when the treatment of detainees in Afghanistan meets international
standards should prisoner transfers resume, the report urges.
But Isaf is unwilling to change the current arrangement.
"Afghanistan is a sovereign country... which has the legal
responsibility for detention of Afghans," said Isaf spokesman James
"It is not for Nato to create a parallel detention structure outside the
law of the land", he added.
Amnesty said British authorities had confirmed that they were looking
into the alleged torture of a transferred prisoner in September, and
that Belgian officials had admitted losing track of a suspected suicide
bomber after he had been transferred to the NDS.
The report specifically did not examine US troops' detention system in
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/11/13 08:18:29 GMT
© BBC MMVII
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