Afghan officials belie UN claiming torture of detainees

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
[PHOTO: Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Duran / U.S. Army]

Kabul: Afghan officials have denied claims by the United Nations that prisoners in government custody were being tortured.

Interior Ministry spokesman Seddiq Seddiqi acknowledged there were cases of "misbehavior" on the part of policemen and prison guards but said the government had no policy of torture.

Hesamuddin Hesam, the acting director of the National Directorate of Security, said those interviewed by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) had "lied."

In its report released on January 20, UNAMA said more than half of prisoners interviewed had complained of ill-treatment or torture in detention facilities.

In an interview with RFE/RL on January 21, Georgette Gagnon, the head of the Human Rights Unit of UNAMA, said there was no political motivation behind the report.

Copyright (c) 2013. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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