World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

UN Report Reveals Continuing High Rate Of Detainee Torture Allegations In Afghanistan

Almost a third of people detained for security or terrorism-related offences in Afghanistan have been subjected to torture or other forms of ill-treatment, according to a UN report published on Wednesday.

The report - jointly published by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights - covers the period from 1 January 2019 to 31 March 2020.* It is based on 656 interviews with men, women and children suspected, accused or convicted of security or terrorism-related offences held in 63 detention facilities across Afghanistan.

While the percentage of detainees claiming to have been tortured has decreased slightly compared to the previous monitoring period (2017-2018), the figure remains alarming, with 30.3 per cent of those interviewed saying they had been subjected to such treatment.

Torture is prohibited under both international and Afghan law and can never be allowed or justified under any circumstances, says the report.

The report also highlights that procedural safeguards for detainees are rarely followed. In almost no instance, were detainees informed of their rights or able to access a lawyer prior to questioning. Few received a medical examination or were able to contact their family in the early days of their detention. Alarmingly, nearly half were asked to sign or place their thumbprint on a document without knowing its content, rendering the validity of the prosecutorial process questionable.

The report highlights that the failure to implement these procedural safeguards has resulted in the recurrence of the practice of solitary and incommunicado detention in the National Directorate of Security.

Effective implementation of procedural safeguards would contribute to reducing instances of torture, stresses the report. It would also increase people’s confidence in public institutions, especially law enforcement, and the rule of law more generally.

Of further concern are the continuing reports of enforced disappearances allegedly linked to the Afghan National Police in Kandahar. These need proper investigation and those responsible should be held accountable.

While recognising the steps taken by the Government of Afghanistan to prevent torture in places of detention, the report highlights that more needs to be done through a series of recommendations. These include measures to increase the capacity, resources, and training of law enforcement agencies.

To read the report in Dari, click here

To read the report in Pashto, click here

*The onset of COVID-19 in the spring of 2020 forced the UN to temporarily suspend interviews with detainees from April onwards.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Climate: UN Chief Lauds ‘day Of Hope’ As US Officially Rejoins Paris Climate Accord

The official return of the United States to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change represents good news for the country and the world, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Friday during a virtual event to mark the occasion. The US, under ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>