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Common Dreams

Investigation Confirms Rampant Torture in Afghan Prisons

by
Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

Prisoner looks out of his cell window at the main prison in Kandahar, Afghanistan, April 25, 2011 (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan, File)

The use of torture within prisons controlled by Afghan security forces trained by the US military is still rampant in the country, according to the results of a two-week "fact-finding mission" by an internal Afghan government commission.

The findings, released Monday, confirm a U.N. report released last month that exposed widespread abuses among Afghan forces.

The earlier U.N. report found over half of 635 detainees interviewed had been tortured—including 80 minors—the same ratio found in a similar report in 2011.

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Though the Afghan commission refused to use the term "systemic" to describe the brutal treament within the prison system, it did confirm the use of torture techniques including hanging detainees from the ceiling by their wrists, beatings with cables and pipes, threats of execution or rape and administering electric shocks.

The government-appointed commission will discuss the findings with judicial officials and President Hamid Karzai later this week.

While the reports of torture have come under condemnation from the West, a report released last week by the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), 'Globalizing Torture', detailed a long history of US torture practices, which implicated 54 countries including Afghanistan in a widespread "extraordinary rendition" network, spearheaded by the CIA.

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