Afghanistan Tortures Prisoners: Report

The NDS has 'secret places' for torture, official says

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 20, 2013 6:20 PM CST

(Newser) – Afghanistan is torturing nearly a third of prisoners handed over by NATO and using secret facilities to do it, according to an anticipated UN report. What's more, several hundred prisoners interviewed for the report offered "credible and reliable evidence" that more than 50% of them have been abused or tortured. They recounted 14 gruesome methods, including extracting fingernails, twisting genitals, electric shocks, beatings with pipes, and threats of rape and execution, reports Reuters.

The country's domestic spy agency, the NDS, has "several secret places in which they detain and torture people," an Afghan official said in the report. "All tortured detainees were ... transferred to another building inside the same compound to hide them." The European Union said it was "deeply concerned" by the findings and urged Afghan officials to "bring the perpetrators of such acts to justice." But this isn't exactly new: Coalition countries stopped giving prisoners to Afghanistan after a 2011 report accused Afghans of torturing hundreds of detainees, including children.

In this Monday, April 25, 2011, file photo, a prisoner looks out of his cell window at the main prison in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
In this Monday, April 25, 2011, file photo, a prisoner looks out of his cell window at the main prison in Kandahar, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan, File)
Afghan prisoners look out through a window at the Kabul's Prison in Afghanistan.
Afghan prisoners look out through a window at the Kabul's Prison in Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo-FILE)
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