KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan authorities tortured or mistreated more than a third of nearly 800 suspected Taleban-linked detainees who human rights investigators were able to interview, the United Nations said on Wednesday.
Afghanistan, which last year took over full responsibility for efforts to end the Taleban insurgency with the withdrawal of most foreign troops, has made progress in the treatment of detainees but a failure to prosecute security forces for torture allowed it to persist, the United Nations said.
“The government of Afghanistan’s efforts to prevent torture and ill-treatment have shown some progress over the last two years,” the top UN envoy to Afghanistan, Nicholas Haysom, said in a statement.
“More remains to be done, however.”
Torture is prohibited by Afghan law but widely used as a tool for extracting information, the United Nations said, adding that the judiciary was over reliant on confessions as the basis for prosecution.
The United Nations said in a survey on torture that it issues every two years that there had been a 14 per cent decrease in incidents compared with the previous reporting period, but torture in custody was a persistent problem.