The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in a new report released on Wednesday said that allegations of torture made by detainees in Afghan detention facilities continue at a high rate, and the procedural rights of those detained are largely ignored.

UNAMA in a released report on Wednesday said, that allegations of tortures in Afghan detention continue at a higher rate, the procedural rights of detainees were ignored.

“Torture and ill-treatment, prohibited under both Afghan and international law, persist in the facilities of government agencies in Afghanistan,” according to the latest bi-annual” UNAMA reported.

UNAMA only recorded a three percent reduction in allegations compared to the previous year.

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

She added, “I recognize the efforts made by some government ministries and institutions, but much more needs to be done to bring this practice to an end. In particular, perpetrators must be held accountable. This would increase confidence in the rule of law and can be a contributing factor towards peace,”.

Reports summarize the findings of the UN reports in connection to the treatment of people deprived of their liberty for security or terrorism allegations between January 2019 and March 2020, when jail visits were suspended due to Covid-19.

UNAMA report is based on the interviews with 656 prisoners including 565 men, six women, 82 boys, and three girls, in 63 prisons located in 24 provinces in Afghanistan.

The report shows only figures at government facilities not of the Taliban or anti-government element prisons, due to lack of reach and access.

“The percentage of credible allegations of incidents of torture and ill-treatment committed by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) was recorded at 30.3 percent, down from 31.9 percent for 2017-2018”, the report added, the allegations in Afghan National Police prisons was 27.2 percent, a decrease from 31.2 percent.

The UNAMA report indicated “a reduction in allegations of torture in National Directorate of Security (NDS) custody from 19.4 to 16 percent was noted”.

Despite the progress, prisoner’s matter remains a serious concern, more than 30 percent of the interviews provided credible reports of bad treatment and torture.

Considerable improvements remain in the system to be worked on, as in most ANP and NDS arrest cases detainees were not informed of their rights, not allowed to access a lawyer, or have gone through medical tests before questioning by the officials.

Among the concerns are half of the detainees were asked to sign or thumbprint documents without knowing its contents, and much of the concerns were focused on incommunicado and solitary NDS detention procedures.

“Detainees’ ability to contact their families in early days after their arrests remained low, with 27.2 percent in ANP custody and 19.7 percent in NDS custody,” the report added.


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