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Why the US and NATO Fed Detainees to Afghan Torture System

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Why the US and NATO Fed Detainees to Afghan Torture SystemStart­ing in late 2005, U.S. and NATO for­ces in Afghanis­tan began turn­ing de­tainees over to the Afghan Nation­al Di­rec­torate of Secur­ity (NDS), de­spite its well-known re­puta­tion for tor­ture.

In­ter­views with form­er U.S. and NATO di­plomats and other evi­d­ence now avail­able show that Uni­ted States and other NATO govern­ments be­come com­plicit in NDS tor­ture of de­tainees for two dis­tinct­ly dif­ferent rea­sons.

For the European mem­b­ers of NATO - es­pecial­ly the British and Dutch - the polit­ical driv­er was the need to dis­tan­ce them­selves from a U.S. de­tainee poli­cy al­ready tain­ted by ac­counts of U.S. tor­ture.

The U.S. and Canada sup­por­ted such trans­f­ers, howev­er, in the be­lief that NDS in­ter­rogators could get bet­t­er in­tel­lig­ence from the de­tainees.

The trans­f­ers to the NDS were a di­rect viola­tion of the Uni­ted Na­tions Con­ven­tion against Tor­ture, which for­bids the trans­f­er of any per­son by a State Party to "an­oth­er State where there are sub­stan­ti­al grounds for be­liev­ing that he would be in dang­er of being sub­jec­ted to tor­ture."

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