NDS scorns UN concern over forced confessions
KABUL (PAN): The Afghan spy service on Wednesday denounced recent remarks by a UN official that torture may have been used to extract confessions from detainees over the alleged serial poisoning of schoolgirls.
UNAMA's human rights unit head, James Rodehaver, last week told a foreign news agency the mission had made public its concerns about the possible use of torture at selected NDS facilities, including Takhar, as a means of forcing persons suspected of insurgency to confess.
A National Directorate of Security (NDS) statement strongly denounced Rodehaver’s remarks as baseless, saying his statement was aimed to encourage the Taliban and was an attempt to ignore the crimes the rebels had committed.
“His remarks are a kind of propaganda war against Afghan security forces,'' the statement said, adding Rodehaver’s remarks came at a time when national and international media outlets published credible reports about poisoning of hundreds of schoolgirls in Takhar, Sar-i-Pul, Faryab, Bamyan and Jawzjan provinces.
The statement said the BBC had directly talked to the accused held in connection with a poisoning case in Takhar. The accused had confessed to their crime, it added.
According to the NDS spokesman, 23 people, including schoolteachers, students, librarians and armed insurgents had been arrested in connection with the cases. The detainees had confessed to poisoning students in return for payments.
"Unfortunately, the UN official has made irresponsible remarks that the accused have confessed under duress,'' the NDS statement concluded.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.