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Analysts doubt UN report's credibility

Security & Crime


Analysts doubt UN report's credibility

Jan 22, 2013 - 19:32

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Kabul-based political analysts on Tuesday called the United Nations report on continued torture of detainees in Afghan-run prisons 'an attempt to justify an ongoing halt to inmate transfers from American to Afghan control.

The UN report released on Sunday offered "credible and reliable evidence" suggesting detainee torture and abuse persisted in Afghan-controlled prisons.

The findings, based on interviewsinfo-icon with 635 conflict-related detainees held at 89 detention centres in 30 provinces between October 2011 to October 2012, found half of those interviewed experienced torture and abuse.

Political analyst Mohammad Hassan Haqyar confirmed inmates were being subjected to torture in prisons controlled by the Afghan government.

However, he described the UNAMA report as "one-sided and political". The UN should also pay its attention to inmates languishing in foreign-controlled jails, especially in the US-run, he said. "If the UN is impartial in the case, it needs to reveal the situation of those held by foreign troops," the analyst commented.

Haqyar believed the motive behind the UN allegations was to pressurise the Afghan government into offering more privileges to the United States. He feared such reports could further increase the gap between the government and the people.

He said the Afghans would have accepted the UN findings as true if it had never sided with the Americans by keeping mum over torture of Afghan prisoners and deaths of civilians at their hands.

Wahid Muzhda, another political commentator, saw "political goals" behind the release of the UN report that he believed was aimed at justifying a halt to the inmate transfer process in the Bagram jail.

"The US wants inmates held at the Bagram (prison) to stay in its custody out of the fear the Afghan government would set them free under the pretext of lack of evidence against them," the expert said.

Doubting the credibility of the UN report, Muzhda said the worldinfo-icon's body had never been found sympathetic towards Afghan inmates and their human rights.

But Fazal Rahman Orya held a different view, saying the report reflected a dire need for drastic reforms in Afghan prisons. He hoped the Afghan government would act to overcome the problem.

Noorul Haq Olumi, yet another political analyst, said the UNAMA wanted the Afghan government to improve conditions in the country's jails. 


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