Britain and torture in Afghanistan

This video is called UN: Evidence of torture in Afghan prisons.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Court to probe trial of Afghan torture victim

Monday 23 July 2012

The Court of Appeal ordered a hearing today into the the fairness of the trial of an Afghan prisoner handed over to Afghanistan’s notorious National Directorate of Security (NDS) by British forces.

Father of two Serdar Mohammed was initially detained by British troops in April 2010 and subsequently handed to NDS agents.

After the handover, it was alleged that NDS officials tortured him repeatedly including beating him with sticks and electric cables, hooding him, hanging him by one hand and shackling him in excruciating positions for prolonged periods.

Lawyers for Mr Mohammed said that on one occasion his torturers wrenched and twisted his testicles so hard that blood came out of his penis.

He eventually signed a confession admitting to being a member of the Taliban and was tried on that basis.

The court apparently sat for only 15 minutes, spoke only in a language that Mr Mohammed didn’t understand and offered him no legal representation.

The Ministry of Defence suspended all transfers to NDS custody after Mr Mohammed’s torture was brought to light.

His fair trial claim will be considered alongside his claim against transfer to torture, which a lower court had already found may have been unlawful.

Leigh Day & Co solicitors and legal action charity Reprieve are seeking a full investigation into Mr Mohammed’s case, a bar on transfers to NDS custody and damages from the British government.

Leigh Day & Co solicitor Rosa Curling said: “It is extremely important that the UK courts properly consider whether it is lawful for the British authorities in Afghanistan to hand over detainees in their custody to the NDS.

“Our client’s case clearly shows that the Afghan legal system falls way below international standards.

“By transferring Mr Mohammed to the NDS, the UK acted in breach of its obligations under human rights law, resulting in our client suffering a flagrant denial of justice.”

Reprieve legal director Cori Crider said: “It’s quite right that the UK courts should investigate what happens to British detainees after their handover – when the answer seems to be ‘trials’ that last a quarter of an hour, in which your tortured confession is discussed in a language you don’t speak.

“This decision offers a ray of hope to Mr Mohammed and to all other conflict detainees currently trapped in the Afghan court system.”

U.S. lawmakers slam Afghan war as defense funding debate begins: here.

USA: Let Chicago’s Anti-Torture Resolution Inspire Your Own City: here.

6 thoughts on “Britain and torture in Afghanistan

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