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Human Rights Watch Accuses U.S. Of Abuse In Afghanistan

13 May 2004 -- The human rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused U.S. military personnel of "systemic" mistreatment of prisoners in Afghanistan, describing the practices as similar to those used in Iraq.

In a statement released in London, HRW said it has warned U.S. officials repeatedly about such problems since last year.

It said the U.S. should publicize the results of its internal investigations of abuse, prosecute those responsible, and provide access to independent monitors.

HRW says it has information that prisoners have been subjected to extreme sleep deprivation, exposure to freezing temperatures, and severe beatings at various locations in the country.

HRW said it had made several formal requests to visit U.S. detention sites in Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004, but none had received a response.