In the spring of 2012, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission reported on torture by Afghan security forces. In response, NATO temporarily suspended prisoner transfers to the worst locations.
But little appears to have changed. Once NATO forces resumed the transfers and decreased inspections, torture quickly returned to earlier levels, the report said.
Detainees described experiencing torture in the form of suspension (being hung by the wrists from chains or other devices attached to the wall, ceiling, iron bars or other fixtures for lengthy periods) and beatings, especially with rubber hoses, electric cables or wires or wooden sticks and most frequently on the soles of the feet. Electric shock, twisting and wrenching of detainees’ genitals, stress positions including forced standing, removal of toenails and threatened sexual abuse were among other forms of torture that detainees reported.2012
Researchers found credible evidence of torture at nine NDS facilities and several Afghan National Police (ANP) facilities, including beatings, suspension from the ceiling, electric shocks, threatened or actual sexual abuse, and other forms of mental and physical abuse, which were routinely used to obtain confessions or other information.1 Four of the NDS facilities where torture was documented were also identified by a recent United Nations report as practicing torture. Monitors also found evidence of torture at five additional NDS facilities.2013
Torture, Transfers, and Denial of Due Process, AIHRC and the Open Society Foundations
Described methods of torture and ill-treatment were similar to practices previously documented by UNAMA. Fourteen different methods of torture were described. Detainees said they experienced torture in the form of suspension (hanging from the ceiling by the wrists or from chains attached to the wall, iron bars or other fixtures so that the victim’s toes barely touch the ground or he is completely suspended in the air with his body weight on his wrists for lengthy periods), prolonged and severe beating with cables, pipes, hoses or wooden sticks (including on the soles of the feet), punching and kicking all over the body, twisting of genitals, and threats against the detainee of execution and/or sexual violence.
[L]ittle appears to have changed.