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ED: Anti-torture law approved

With majority of votes, the Wolesi Jirga or lower house of the parliament approved a presidential decree prohibiting torture at prisons and detention centers. It has been approved after some amendments were incorporated by judicial commission of the house in some articles. The lawmakers modified the sixth and 13th articles of the draft law and then approved it. The aim of this is to further enforce the law and turn it effective in maintaining justice and preventing torturing of prisoners at prisons and detention centers. Indeed torture is here with different stories. The victims can tell a different story of torture. Conflict-related detainees in Afghanistan continue to face torture and ill-treatment in government detention facilities, a UN report said in April. “The continuing torture and ill-treatment of conflict-related detainees is a matter of serious concern, but we acknowledge the genuine commitment and the efforts by the government to deal with this issue,” UN head said at that time. The report by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the UN Human Rights Office is based on interviews with 469 conflict-related detainees conducted from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2016 in 62 detention facilities administered by the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghan National Police (ANP) and other Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) across the country. More than a third of the interviewees gave credible accounts of being subjected to torture or ill-treatment. Moreover, it was also reported that of 85 child detainees interviewed, 38 gave credible accounts of being subjected to torture or ill-treatment. The aim of torture is to convince detainees to confess to alleged crimes. It is a fact that confessions produced as a result of torture are totally unreliable. The prisoners will say anything to stop the pain. Surely, it is violation of human rights to torture detainees to make them spell words. But we should not forget that conflict-related detainees are being subjected to torture. They were detained while killing Afghan innocent civilians and the security forces. At real picture, they are militants who don’t show mercy to women, children, and elders. How many civilians have been martyred in the past at the hands of militants in different types of subversive activates. Even they (militants) attacked worshipers in mosques—the holy place in which men and women get-together to worship their creator (Allah the Almighty). However, this doesn’t legitimize torturing. There are courts to punish culprits. But as compared to other countries of the world, torturing is very less in Afghanistan, and we do appreciate it. We do believe that by torturing the criminals hurt their dignity and their self confidence damages. Moreover, we are in modern age, we have the science of forensics to catch criminals, and reach confession by them technically. If we don’t’ have these facilities, the United States has to provide us. With this prisoners torture will be reduced to eye-catching level. Certainly, torture crushes the personality of a person giving him on her low self-esteem. The person may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or insomnia and depression. Proper monitoring of detention facilities and meaningful investigation against criminals will give a strong message to prevent violations. When a human being is tortured in an inhuman way, the response will also be inhuman. Norway’s prison system which is very much successful should be implemented in the country and each prison should have five goals, as described by a well known criminologist, Bob Cameron that includes retribution, incapacitation, deterrence, restoration and rehabilitation.


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