- A Report comprising 67 Pages “Torture, Transfers, and Denial of Due Process: The Treatment of Conflict-Related Detainees in Afghanistan,has been published by Afgn Independent Human Right Commission (AIHRC), on 17th Mar, 2012. The report talks that researchers found credible evidence about some U.S.-transferred detainees which have been subjected to torture by Afghan officials, the report underscoring the need for a monitoring program.
- Report has been discussed under following main headings:-
a. Torture and Mistreatment of Conflict-Related Detainees in Afghanistan
b. International Detainee Transfers, Monitoring, and Joint Operations: : According to a cable from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, leaked by Wikileaks, in 2009 (1388) U.S. forces under ISAF detained 643 individuals and transferred 370 to Afghan custody.103 Trends from night raids or ―kill/capture operations indicate that the number of individuals detained by the US has increased sharply since then. ISAF and USFOR-A special operations forces together detained over 8,000 individuals between April 2010 and April 2011 (Hamal 1389-1390), a large proportion of which were likely detained by U.S. special
c. Torture and Mistreatment of U.S. Detainees Transferred to NDS: Researchers documented a number of credible cases in which individuals were detained by U.S. forces and then transferred to Afghan custody, where they were reportedly subjected to torture, including beatings, suspension, and electric shock. 10 cases of individuals detained by U.S. forces transferred to NDS facilities where they reported being tortured between May 2010 and January 2012 (Saur 1389-Jadi 1390).133 In four of these cases individuals reported being held for some period of time at a detention facility located at or near Bagram Air Base, and in four cases individuals were transferred to NDS Kandahar despite such transfers being suspended by all ISAF as well as USFOR-A forces. These cases are strong evidence that U.S. detainee transfers have in fact been tortured by NDS officials. They raise serious concerns regarding U.S. policies on transfers to NDS, particularly transfers by U.S. special operations forces, and whether appropriate safeguards exist to protect detainees‘ rights and ensure that the United States is not complicit in torture.
d. Due Process Violations
e. Accountability and Transparency
f. Recommendations: Key recommendations are as fol:-
(1) Government of Afghanistan: Investigate and hold to account all those who are responsible for torture, including commanding officers. End the practice of moving rather than removing officials responsible for torture and make public or provide to AIHRC the results of investigations and actions taken.Ensure AIHRC has full, unfettered, and confidential access to all NDS detainees and facilities, including NDS Kabul Department 90/124, as legally mandated under the Constitution of Afghanistan. Ensure NDS officials permit AIHRC monitors to conduct unannounced visits to all NDS facilities. Provide the NDS Human Rights Unit with the authority and resources necessary to effectively investigate allegations of abuse and ensure those responsible are held to account. Cease holding detainees incommunicado. Notify family members of detainee‘s arrest immediately or as soon as practicably possible, ensure access to legal counsel, and permit family members to visit detainees. Transfer all detainees to MOI custody within 72 hours, inform detainees of the reason for their arrest within 24 hours, and ensure all detentions beyond 72 hours are authorized by a prosecutor or judge. Ensure defense lawyers have access to detainees and all NDS detention facilities at all stages of detention as well as proper access to the findings of investigations and evidence against clients.
(2) ISAF Command and Troop Contributing Nations: Support the NDS and the Afghan government to ensure all detainees are free from torture. Work with the NDS to identify critical deficiencies in resources, and provide appropriate technical and financial assistance to help ensure detainee treatment and interrogations comply with Afghan and international law. Enhance the capacity of Afghan officials to conduct lawful and effective interrogations, evidence-based investigations and prosecutions, and strengthen the effectiveness of internal monitoring and accountability mechanisms. Make use of ISAF suspension and remediation policies to work with the Afghan government to adopt measures that will protect all detainees from abuse, such as full, unfettered access by AIHRC, detainee access to defense counsel, and accountability for detainee abuse. Ensure no detainee is transferred into facilities where there is real risk of torture. Where detainee transfers have been suspended by ISAF due to credible allegations of torture, ensure resumption of transfers to a facility occur only when there is sufficient information to determine that there is no real risk of torture at that facility. Ensure the detainee monitoring program has the resources, civilian expertise, and authority necessary to effectively monitor all detainees transferred to Afghan custody.
(3) United States: Constructively engage with the NDS to ensure it provides guarantees of lawful detainee treatment, and holds officials accountable for abuse. Support the NDS and the Afghan government to ensure all detainees are free from torture. Work with the NDS to identify critical deficiencies in resources, and provide appropriate technical and financial assistance to help ensure detainee treatment and interrogations comply with Afghan and international law. Enhance the capacity of Afghan officials to conduct lawful and effective interrogations, evidence-based investigations and prosecutions, and strengthen the effectiveness of internal monitoring and accountability mechanisms. Ensure all U.S. forces, including U.S. Special Operations Forces and intelligence agency personnel, comply with U.S. detainee transfer policies and international law and are covered by the AIHRC monitoring program.