Aghan prisoners hanged by their wrists, beaten with cables: UN
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And particularly in the southern province of Kandahar, the U.N. received reports that authorities were using unofficial sites to torture detainees before transporting them to the regular prison.
In a letter responding to the U.N. report, Gen. John Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said that his staff had written letters to Afghan ministers urging them to investigate more than 80 separate allegations of detainee abuse during the past 18 months.
"To date, Afghan officials have acted in only one instance,'' Allen said in the letter. In that case Afghan authorities did not fire the official in question, but transferred him from Kandahar province to Sar-e-Pul in the north.
The report documents what it called a "persistent lack of accountability for perpetrators of torture,'' noting that no one has been prosecuted for prisoner abuse since the first report was released.
Aimal Faizi, a spokesman for the Afghan president, said torture and abuse of prisoners was not Afghan policy.
"However, there may be certain cases of abuse and we have begun to investigate these cases mentioned in the U.N. report,'' he said. "We will take actions accordingly.''
But he said that while the Afghan government takes the allegations in the report very seriously, "we also question the motivations behind this report and the way it was conducted.'' He did not elaborate.
The NATO military alliance responded to the most recent report by stopping transfers of detainees to seven facilities in Kabul, Laghman, Herat, Khost and Kunduz provinces – most of them the same facilities that were flagged a year ago. The transfers were halted in October, when the U.N. shared its preliminary findings with the military coalition.
"This action is a result of concerns over detainee treatment at certain Afghan detention facilities,'' said Jamie Graybeal, a spokesman for the international military alliance in Kabul.
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