Third of detainees in Afghanistan face torture, UN report says, South Asia News


A United Nations report on Wednesday claimed that a third of those held by Afghan authorities for offences related to security and terrorism are undergoing mistreatment and torture in detention centres.

The report was released jointly by the UN Mission to Afghanistan and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. It was found that the percentage of detainees facing torture had gone down over the last 15 months. Even then, the situation remains ”alarming”.

From the previous two years, the percentage has fallen from 31.9 per cent to 30.3 per cent.

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“Torture can never be justified. It has lasting consequences for victims, their families and society,” said Deborah Lyons, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.

Peace talks with the Taliban are proceeding in Qatar, but militant violence continues to plague the country. Militant violence has resurged around the country even as peace talks proceed with the insurgent Taliban in Qatar. 

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Targeted killings occur in the country almost daily, with many blaming the killings on the Taliban, who have constantly denied responsibility. On Wednesday, a blast in Kabul ended up killing a police officer. Additionally, unknown assailants killed a religious leader in the southern city of Kandahar. In addition, a judge was also killed in the eastern city of Jalalabad.

The report added that efforts have been made by the government to limit the use of torture. But it added that more work is needed to end torture. The report by UN was based on interviews with 656 detainees, which were held in 63 facilities across 24 provinces between January 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020.


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