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UN urges Afghanistan’s Taliban to cease torture, defend rights of detainees

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ISLAMABAD — The United Nations stated Wednesday it has documented greater than 1,600 {cases} of human rights violations dedicated by authorities in Afghanistan throughout arrests and detentions of individuals, and urged the Taliban authorities to cease torture and defend the rights of detainees.

Practically 50% of the violations consisted of “torture and different merciless, inhuman and degrading remedy,” the U.N. Help Mission in Afghanistan stated.

The report by the mission’s Human Rights Service coated 19 months — from January 2022 till the tip of July 2023 — with {cases} documented throughout 29 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. It stated 11% of the {cases} concerned girls.

It stated the torture geared toward extracting confessions and different info included beatings, suffocation, suspension from the ceiling and electrical shocks. {Cases} that weren’t thought-about sufficiently credible and dependable weren’t included within the report, it stated.

The Taliban have promised a extra reasonable rule than throughout their earlier interval in energy within the Nineteen Nineties. However they’ve imposed harsh measures since seizing Afghanistan in mid-August 2021 as U.S. and NATO forces had been pulling out from the nation after twenty years of battle.

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“The private accounts of beatings, electrical shocks, water torture, and quite a few different types of merciless and degrading remedy, together with threats made towards people and their households, are harrowing,” U.N. Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk stated in a press release issued with the report.

“This report means that torture can also be used as a device — in lieu of efficient investigations. I urge all involved de facto authorities to place in place concrete measures to halt these abuses and maintain perpetrators accountable,” he stated.

The U.N. mission, or UNAMA, makes use of the time period “de facto authorities” for the Taliban authorities.

Its report acknowledges some steps taken by authorities businesses to watch locations of detention and examine allegations of abuse.

“Though there have been some encouraging indicators when it comes to management directives in addition to an openness amongst many de facto officers to have interaction constructively with UNAMA, and permit visits to prisons, these documented {cases} spotlight the necessity for pressing, accelerated motion by all,” Roza Otunbayeva, the U.N. secretary-general’s particular consultant for Afghanistan and head of the mission, stated in a press release.

The report stated of the torture and different degrading remedy that 259 cases concerned bodily struggling and 207 concerned psychological struggling.

UNAMA stated it believes that ill-treatment of people in custody is broadly underreported and that the figures within the report characterize solely a snapshot of violations of individuals in detention throughout Afghanistan.

It stated a pervasive local weather of surveillance, harassment and intimidation, threats to individuals not to talk about their experiences in detention, and the necessity for prisoners to supply ensures by relations and different third events to be launched from custody hamper the willingness of many individuals to talk freely to the U.N. mission.

The report stated 44% of the interviewees had been civilians with no specific affiliation, 21% had been former authorities or safety personnel, 16% had been members of civic organizations or human rights teams, 9% had been members of armed teams and eight% had been journalists and media employees. The rest had been “relations of individuals of curiosity.”

In a response that was included within the report, the Taliban-led International Ministry stated authorities businesses have taken steps to enhance the human rights state of affairs of detainees, and that Islamic regulation, or Shariah, prohibits torture. It additionally questioned a few of the report’s knowledge. The Ministry of Inside stated it has recognized solely 21 {cases} of human rights violations.

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