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Amnesty International Calls for Better Prison Conditions in - 2002-02-01


The human rights group Amnesty International says thousands of prisoners in Afghanistan suffer from grievously poor jail conditions, and it called on the United States to help improve their situation.

In a report issued today (Friday), Amnesty said journalists and non-governmental groups who visited detention facilities in Afghanistan, report that prisons there are dangerously overcrowded. The report added that prisoners do not have adequate food, medicine or shelter from the country's harsh winter.

The human rights group acknowledged that the Bonn agreement makes the Afghan Interim Authority formally responsible for detention facilities.

But, Amnesty argues the United States is responsible under international law for the welfare of prisoners who were in U-S custody before they were handed over to the Afghan Interim Authority. It added that these responsibilities also should be shared by other countries like Pakistan and Canada, whose forces also have detained and handed over prisoners.

Amnesty called on the United States and the international community to use their influence and give resources to Afghan officials to ensure that those imprisoned in Afghanistan are treated humanely.

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