Afghanistan: Afghan parliamentarians: "Women prisoners are raped in a Kabul prison"
MPs say they are concerned about the conditions of Afghanistan's prisons and are afraid such violations are going on in prisons in the other provinces. These concerns are stated a day after the Amnesty International report warned about possible abusing of prisoners in Afghanistan.
The findings of parliament delegation suggest that prison officials first give medicines to prisoners to stupefy them and then sexually assault them.
Fouzia Kofi, one of the MPs who meet these victims in the prison, says in some cases victims have been forcibly raped. Ms. Kofi says: "they (prisoners) say when we are ill and ask for medicines, they gave the medicines to make them unconscious, and then they are sexually abused. In some cases they are forcibly taken to the offices of prison officials, a few women have got pregnant."
She says, fearing Afghan traditions and prison officials have made some victims silent, so it is difficult to find out a statistic about the number of abuses. She says: "the numbers of women who are ready to talk about these issues are few and unfortunately they don’t have the gut to expose the truth. Because when we (the fact-finding delegation) leave the prison, they become defenseless."
Amnesty International had already warned about torture of prisons in Afghanistan, but the delegation of Afghan parliament believe the situation in the Afghan prisons is worse then what is reflected in the AI report."
BBC Persian (translated by RAWA)
14 November 2007
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour arrived in Afghanistan today for a one-week visit that coincides with new charges that Afghan officials have committed serious rights violations.
Arbour is scheduled to meet with President Hamid Karzai, parliamentarians, and members of the judiciary. She will reportedly also meet with NGO officials and people who say they have suffered human-rights violations.
Arbour's visit comes shortly after the release of a report by Amnesty International on November 12 claiming that Afghanistan's intelligence service has tortured detainees. Amnesty urged NATO-led coalition forces in Afghanistan not to turn over prisoners to Afghan authorities.
The rights watchdog said Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS) is a "serious threat to those in its custody."
A spokesman for the NDS, Sayeed Ansari, on November 13 denied the charges, and said Afghanistan has always followed Afghan and international law in its treatment of prisoners, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reported.
"We have observed human rights. Human rights representatives recently visited all the prisons and detention centers of the National Directorate of Security, and they met with the prisoners," Ansari said. "We reject the [Amnesty International] report. They can come and once again visit our prisons, and see the situation and that there is no problem."
A NATO official also denied the allegations, saying that the transfer of prisoners from NATO-led troops to Afghan forces "was developed with the Red Cross/Crescent and meets international standards."
Arbour previously visited Afghanistan in 2005. She is also to meet with the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission during her visit.
Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
15 November 2007
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