Torture Reports Halt US-Afghan Detainee Transfer

Human rights abuses could stop funding for Afghan troops
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 17, 2013 3:10 AM CST
In this Friday, April 23, 2010 file photo, Afghan National Army recruits practice a house clearing during training exercises in Kabul, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Dar Yasin, File)

(Newser) – Amid word of inhumane treatment, including torture, the US has halted the transfer of detainees to some Afghan prisons, the New York Times reports. And with Afghan leader Hamid Karzai seeking internal control of detention, the decision is likely to further strain the countries' relationship. The move also comes with major funding implications: A US law bars defense funding from going to countries that violate human rights. The rule could block billions of dollars that are set to pay Afghan troops' salaries, the Times notes.

Despite the expected conclusions of an upcoming UN report, "I dismiss all the allegations of torture and mistreatment of prisoners in Afghan prisons," says a top Afghan prisons official, adding that he has "not heard anything about Americans’ decision to halt or cut their support or transfer of detainees to the Afghan side." Meanwhile, NATO is calling on Afghanistan to investigate reported torture by US-trained Afghan Local Police forces, The head of that program says he's aware of the issue and that "we have arrested 65 or 66 local police officers who were accused of murder, rape, theft, torture or dereliction of duty." (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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