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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 May, 2004, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
Afghan abuse claims anger press
Afghan papers

A high-ranking US Army officer has begun a "top-to-bottom" investigation into claims that Taleban and al-Qaeda suspects have been abused in the 20 US-run jails in Afghanistan.

The issue of prisoner maltreatment arouses strong feelings in the Afghan press, with one editorial warning that popular "hatred" against coalition forces will increase if firm action is not taken.

The news about abuse and sexual assault on Afghan prisoners by the coalition forces at the Bagram Airbase has terribly shocked the people... Can an American General uncover the conditions of the prisoners?... If [Commander of US forces in Afghanistan] David Barno wants to prove his impartiality and to show his interest in knowing the reality, he should assign a commission composed of members of human rights' and Red Cross committees and representatives of the Afghan independent media to evaluate the conditions of prisoners, alongside the assigned US officer.

Arman-e Melli (independent)

What is surprising is the government's weak and unacceptable stance on this inhumane, non-Islamic action, for the high-ranking government officials cannot evade this issue by simply condemning the immoral action or asking for a further investigation. Although there is a legitimate Afghan government supervising the foreign forces, how can the USA, Britain or other countries open their own prisons in this country?... As the government represents the people, it should not adopt a weak position on the issue or ignore the brutal attacks of the foreign forces against Afghans.

Etefaq-e Eslam (official daily)

The disclosure of the abuse of prisoners is a matter of pleasure for the terrorist Al-Qaeda and Taleban groups and their supporters. They could incite the people against the coalition forces with these reports and provoke their religious feelings. In fact, any action that pushes the people towards Al-Qaeda and the Taleban creates a new threat and danger for the government.

Payam-e Mojahed (independent weekly)

Sayd Nabi, a former officer in Gardez City police, has confirmed that Afghans were mistreated in the same way as Iraqis... In addition to the International Red Cross, observers from regional and international human rights commissions should be given access to investigate the prisoners' conditions.

Hewad (state-run)

Reconstruction has not been implemented as planned, general security has not been restored, and now there are reports that Afghan prisoners are being abused in coalition prisons. This is violation of human rights, and the Independent Human Rights Commission of Afghanistan should take these reports seriously... There will be reaction to these developments if the US-led coalition forces do not change their way of treating prisoners and if such reports continue to be published. As a result, the people's hatred of the coalition forces will increase and the relative peace in Afghanistan will be destroyed.

Arman-e Melli (independent)

There has already been some commotion about the mistreatment of the detainees in Guantanamo, and less news was published about the torture, sexual humiliation and sexual abuses going on in the hellish prisons inside Afghanistan... Is it not time for the vigilant consciences of the world to stand against the American menace and reveal the true face of this satanic force? They should take action.

Thabat (independent)

If the [abuse] claims are true, the coalition forces will lose the confidence and trust of the people, and the current optimism about them will turn into pessimism. We hope the detained Afghan suspects will be treated in accordance with humanitarian norms... Those foreign officers who are involved in such crimes should be brought to justice and punished.

Hewad (state-run)

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

US attacked over Afghan 'abuse'
13 May 04  |  South Asia
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12 May 04  |  South Asia
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06 May 04  |  Middle East
Afghan concern over Iraq abuses
10 May 04  |  South Asia

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