The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has expressed grave concern about credible accounts of Taliban subjecting detainees to ill-treatment and actions that may amount to torture, as well as serious allegations that some detainees were killed.
UNAMA released its preliminary findings earlier today regarding the ill-treatment of detainees by Taliban.
According to a statement released by UNAMA, the preliminary findings of the mission are based on interviews conducted with 13 prisoners who were released from Taliban prison late last month.
“They provided consistent accounts of the poor conditions in which they were held and credible claims of ill-treatment and torture, as well as the murder of civilians and security personnel. Multiple detainees reported the murder of at least 11 others by the Taliban,” UNAMA said.
According to UNAMA, the group of 53 detainees freed from the Taliban-run facility known as Kalatak, located in the village of Shira in the Khas-Uruzgan district of Uruzgan, included 45 members of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces and eight civilians, including three civilian government officials. Most of the detainees had been held since 2018, with three held since 2016.
“All those released reported being shackled permanently. Some had scars on their ankles,” UNAMA said, adding that all but one of the detainees interviewed by UNAMA reported being beaten.
UNAMA also added that some detainees reported that during the beatings the Taliban demanded they provide information or confess to specific acts.
The remainder of the detainees said the beatings were punishment for what they were told was supporting the government, working with Americans or fighting the Taliban.
All detainees reported being held incommunicado and underground in five overcrowded rooms. Detainees said that for a minimum of seven hours a day they were forced to labour, including making improvised explosive devices, contrary to international humanitarian law.
The detainees have also told UNAMA that they were held in sub-zero temperatures during winter and were fed beans and bread twice a day, with no medical aid apart from some painkillers and antiseptics for wounds.