Detainee tortured in Afghan jail is demanding high court judicial review into the way he was treated

Serdar Mohammed, an Afghan man who was detained by British troops for a few months on suspicion of being a Taliban commander before being handed over to an Afghan jail, is demanding a high court judicial review into the way he was treated. He claims that he was held in breach of previous British rulings ordering constant monitoring by the Ministry of Defence of Afghan detainees arrested by UK forces and he is asking for an immediate injunction preventing British troops from transferring detainees to the custody of the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS). He says that he was beaten by NDS guards with sticks and electric cables and as a result, he eventually signed a “confession” admitting to being a member of the Taliban. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison after a trial lasting for 15 minutes conducted in a language that, his lawyers say, he did not understand. Recently a UN report has published several interviews of other detainees transferred to NDS. The report found that 46% of all detainees interviewed had been tortured in Afghan custody. The high court has previously stated that transferring suspects to NDS should be allowed provided that existing safeguards were “strengthened by observance of specified conditions”. Among those safeguards should be included the right of British monitors to get access to the detainees regularly in order to avoid similar violations of human rights.

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