SP calls for enquiry into reported torture of extradited Afghans

24 April 2007

SP calls for enquiry into reported torture of extradited Afghans

The SP is demanding that the International Red Cross be given access to Afghan prisoners, who, having been handed over to the country's authorities by soldiers of the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), may have been tortured. According to investigative journalists from the Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail, many extradited prisoners are exposed to serious acts of torture. Canadian personnel work closely with Dutch troops in the ISAF.

Dozens of prisoners handed over by Canadian troops to the feared National Directorate of Security have reported that they have been subject to torture, maltreatment and starvation regimes. Prisoners were whipped and exposed to extreme cold. There are, in addition, reports of throttling and electric shocks during interrogation by Afghan authorities.

Harry van Bommel Dutch soldiers have also delivered prisoners to the NDS. According to the government there are cast-iron guarantees that these people would be well-treated, but SP foreign affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel is demanding more detailed explanations. “Parliament has always made an issue of the treatment of prisoners," he points out. "That's why we don't hand them over to the Americans and why we have drawn up strict agreements with the Afghan authorities. The Geneva Convention must be observed. If we can't count on these accords being respected, then we should not be handing prisoners over to the Afghan authorities. This would make the mission, still more than is already the case, impossible. Should the Canadians continue to extradite prisoners to the Afghans, moreover, then we could not continue to cooperate with them either.”

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