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U.N. says Afghanistan routinely tortures war suspects

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Afghanistan uses tortureThe United Nations on Monday said that suspected Taliban detainees are routinely beaten and tortures in detention centers run by Afghanistan's police and spy agency.

The U.N. said it based its findings on interviews conducted with 379 pre-trial detainees and convicted prisoners at 47 detention centers in 22 provinces between October 2010 to August 2011.

The 74-page report said the interviews uncovered evidence of "the use of interrogation techniques that constitute torture under international law and crimes under Afghan law, as well as other forms of mistreatment."

It said beating and torture was applied "systemically" in detentions centers run by the National Directorate of security, Afghanistan's spy agency.

Forty six percent of 273 detainees interviewed in the Afghan spy agency's detention centers told U.N. interviewers that they had been subjected to different forms of torture while the were interrogated. The abuse often included sexual humiliation.

Beyond physical mistreatment, many prisoners also said they had been held beyond the maximum allowed by law and denied family visits, the report said.

"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," the report said.

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