Ministry of Interior probing Inmate torture claims: Cabinet
KABUL – The Council of Ministers on Monday said it had directed the deputy interior minister to investigate a UN report that offered ‘credible and reliable evidence’ suggesting detainees held at Afghan-run prisons were being subjected to severe physical pain or suffering.
The UN’s assistance mission in Afghanistan released the interview-based findings a day earlier, telling stories of inmates in Afghan custody about their treatment.
The Karzai-led Cabinet issued a statement, voicing ‘grave concern’, said Abdul Rahman Rahman had been directed to launch an investigation into the torture allegations.
The 139-page report found “credible and reliable evidence” that more than half of those interviewed (in hundreds) between October 2011 and October 2012 experienced torture or abuse.
Earlier in the day, Rahman and acting National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief Hassamuddin Hassam rejected the UNAMA report as baseless at a joint press conference in Kabul.
They claimed the Taliban had advised their men in Afghan custody to keep complaining of torture and abuse to UN monitors. Rahman said Afghan jail officials had been trained at home and abroad on how to behave with inmates.
Hassam said intelligence agents treated detainees in line with international laws and conventions on rights of prisoners. He added they had taken foreign delegates and observers to Afghan-run jails around a hundred times over the past ten months.
On Monday, ISAF, European Union (EU) and Britain expressed grave concern at the reported torture of inmates, calling for urgent jail reforms and effective steps to address the issue.
The Cabinet also signaled a go-ahead to a National Security Council (NSC)’s decision that recommended the distribution of computerised identity cards through the Ministry of Interior (MoI). It also dissolved the council’s complaints commisson for Kuchi affairs. (PAN)