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Karzai Orders Probe Into Prison Torture Allegations

More than half of the Afghan prisoners UNAMA interviewed said they'd been ill-treated or abused in prison. (file photo)
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has assigned a team to investigate claims by the United Nations that prisoners in government custody were being tortured and abused.

A presidential office statement on January 22 said the delegation will "fully investigate the claims of torture, mistreatment, death threats, and sexual abuse" in detention facilities.

The statement said the delegation should report back to Karzai within two weeks "so that follow-up measures can be taken."

In a report issued on January 20, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said that "torture persists and remains a serious concern in numerous detention facilities across Afghanistan."

The report said that such practices continue despite efforts by the United Nations and international forces during the past year.

Afghan authorities have denied the UN report's claims.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL, AP, and dpa