Taliban stand guard during a ceremony to release political prisoners following a general amnesty, leaves a prison in Kandahar, Afghanistan, 24 August 2021. EFE/EPA/FILE/STRINGER

UN report cites 1,600 cases of torture, ill-treatment of detainees in Afghanistan

Geneva, Sep 20 (EFE).- The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has collected evidence of at least 1,600 cases of torture and mistreatment of people detained by de facto authorities in Afghanistan since last year, according to a report released Wednesday.

The report documented cases in 29 of the 34 Afghan provinces between Jan. 1 2022 and Jul, 31, 2023, with nearly half of them being torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

“The personal accounts of beatings, electric shocks, water torture, and numerous other forms of cruel and degrading treatment, along with threats made against individuals and their families, are harrowing,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk.

In attempts to extract confessions or other information, the detainees were subjected to severe pain and suffering, through physical beatings, electric shocks, asphyxiation, stress positions and forced ingestion of water, as well as blind-folding and threats, the report said.

Most of the cases were reported by people detained by the Taliban government’s interior ministry and also by its intelligence service GDI, but relatively less in Afghan prisons.

The report admitted that the Afghan authorities have issued codes of conduct during detentions to reduce such abuses, but that these measures are not appropriately followed in practice.