U.N.: Abuse widespread in Afghan prisons

Jan. 21, 2013 at 9:29 AM
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UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- U.N. officials said torture in Afghanistan's prison system was a source of serious concern and recommended an independent review panel.

A report from the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said more than half of the 635 detainees held on conflict-related charges in the country made claims of ill-treatment or torture. UNAMA said the problem was especially serious in facilities operated by the country's police and National Directorate of Security.

Jan Kubis, the U.N. special envoy to Afghanistan, said more work is needed to prevent detainee abuses.

"The government's attention and efforts to address these abusive practices are visible and encouraging and have produced some positive results but the system isn't robust enough to eliminate ill-treatment of detainees," he said in a statement.

UNAMA said it was recommending that an independent commission of inquiry look into the country's preventative mechanisms.

"UNAMA continues to observe the treatment of detainees and is working closely with Afghan authorities and international partners to bring positive change," the mission stated.

Afghan authorities are beginning to take greater control over national security issues as international forces wrap up their mission.

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