Compelling evidence

by Aaron Wherry

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan has released a report into the treatment of detainees by Afghan authorities.

UNAMA’s detention observation found compelling evidence that 125 detainees (46 percent) of the 273 detainees interviewed who had been in NDS detention experienced interrogation techniques at the hands of NDS officials that constituted torture, and that torture is practiced systematically in a number of NDS detention facilities throughout Afghanistan … More than one third of the 117 conflict-related detainees UNAMA interviewed who had been in ANP detention experienced treatment that amounted to torture or to other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment…

UNAMA’s detention observation included interviews with 89 detainees who reported the involvement of international military forces either alone or together with Afghan forces in their capture and transfer to NDS or ANP custody. UNAMA found compelling evidence that 19 of these 89 detainees were tortured in NDS custody and three in ANP custody.

The full report is here. As the Globe notes, one detainee, interviewed in March, claims a separate process for those transferred by Canadian forces.

Except those arrested by Canadians, every single person arrested by NDS officials has to go through the similar experience I went through. Even the detainees handed over by Americans are interrogated by NDS and tortured. For those arrested by Canadians, two NDS officials were allocated for further interrogation and those interrogated by them never complained about ill­treatment by NDS officials.




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Compelling evidence

  1. Wouldn’t that be awesome if it were consistently true?  I mean to say, it may well be that some detainees were transferred to be tortured earlier on–before we found out about it and instituted a way to prevent it.  But if we DID institute a way to prevent it as soon as we found out., I think that would be us taking responsibility for our actions.  And after all, I don’t think you can realistically expect more than that.  Unless, of course, you covered your eyes and sang LALALALA while people were trying to help you “find out”.

    • Agreed.  I would think that Mackay and friends would trumpet the “separate Canadian detainee treatment” if indeed it was/is true.  That would mean that they paid attention to the concerns of Colvin and took steps to remedy a serious problem, which would be a good thing to tell us.

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