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Amnesty: 'Sweden party to torture' in Afghanistan

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 27 Aug 2009, 13:49

Published: 27 Aug 2009 13:49 GMT+02:00

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"There is an absolute ban on torture and thus also a ban on handing over prisoners to countries in which there is a risk of torture," Lisa Bergh, Amnesty Sweden's Secretary-General, told Ekot.

"It is patently clear that prisoners risk torture if they are handed over to the authorities in Afghanistan," Bergh explained.

The prisoner was captured by Swedish forces in July after a fire-fight in which he sustained injuries. The prisoner has now been handed over the authorities.

The commander of the Swedish forces in Afghanistan, Olof Granander, told Ekot that Sweden was following a decision taken by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to hand over the prisoner to an Afghanistan field hospital.

Granander told Ekot that it is now the responsibility of the Red Cross to monitor the case and that the Swedish armed forces will not be looking into its handling of the situation.

Story continues below…

International regulations stipulate that no country can transfer a prisoner who risks being assaulted or tortured and the rules apply regardless of whoever took the decision.

Lisa Bergh argues that as evidence of torture is so unequivocal in Afghanistan a total ban should be introduced on all ISAF forces handing over prisoners to the Afghanistan authorities.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:38 August 27, 2009 by magic1964
I had a lot of respect for amnesty 30 years ago....now they drift into an anti occidental left wing propaganda machine..

They see torture and cruelty in every corner, even Sweden is considered terrible by those neo punks
15:10 August 27, 2009 by Beynch
This is ridiculous!! Amnesty International has lost all credibility. They are nothing more than a radical, leftwing, marxist, west-hating, propaganda machine whose main interest is capital punishment in Mississippi. Their second main interest is to promote islam in western Europe and North America. To even give any credence whatsoever to what they have to say is an affront to western civilization. They are operating on the fringes of decency, and we would all be better off by simply ignoring their orwellian invective. Let us bury AI with the truth, and have them sink into their own sordid morass. They should be ashamed of themselves!
15:41 August 27, 2009 by Mucker
Well I think Amnesty do great work, and are needed more than ever.
15:43 August 27, 2009 by Lea
Yes, guys, welcome to the ultra-liberal society.

Now, when the same organization publishes a bunch of rubbish about "War Crimes in Gaza", there's a different story. They must be right this time around, aren't they?

So, when it comes to your doorsteps, you suddenly feel how incredibly perverted the world is seen by the Amnesty... So stop listening to those "prophets of the true human values" regardless of the region they are referring to, or you are risking to become racist just as they are themselves already.
15:49 August 27, 2009 by magic1964
Yes amnesty also said that the Mohamed cartoonswas racist....of course !!!
15:53 August 27, 2009 by Lea

Now.. wait... what good did this publication of Amnesty really do? Let's suppose that Sweden, after seeing these accusations, decides NOT to give up the prisoners to the local authorities (just as it is usual in most other places in the world). What would they do with them.... It then would have to give them asylum in Sweden! Why? They are risking being tortured in their homeland, and I am sure no other country would ever want to get bandits as their immigrants of any form. So, now Sweden is suddenly responsible for those bastards itself. Welcome them to your neighborhood (with Ak47 of course).

So, Sweden then decides to drop the case altogether: withdraw from Afghanistan and, let's assume, all other parties will follow this suit. The war is over, right? No.... now Talibs will chase Sweden in its sleep, since it already DID the damage to their men, by participating in the war. Afghans would never forgive or forget Swedes shooting at those "innocent" Taliban youths, so they will, eventually, come at your door. They do not want to distinguish, are you SD voter, or Moderaterna... They've never heard about them. They would only want vengeance... Then you would regret that those people were left alive, because of the Amnesty whining about bandits being mistreated.

Wake up, man!
16:07 August 27, 2009 by Mucker
I'm not a Swedish citizen, but I pay my taxes here. I am not happy to see the armed forces of this country hand over a prisioner to people who will torture him. Regardless of the situation. For one thing it is against international law.
16:13 August 27, 2009 by Lea

What to do then? Suggest something plausible.... He IS Afghan, after all.
16:35 August 27, 2009 by Eurostan
swedish armed forces should hand over these criminals to amnesty and amnesty has to take responsible for them .

no country want to take these afghans.

history tells that if you do not kill afghans they kill you in some point in the future.

16:40 August 27, 2009 by hpunlimited
Sweden is there to help Afghanistan protect itself from thugs, criminals and murderers. Sweden is only responible for the prisoners when they are in Swedish care. The second they turn them over to someone else, it is not longer Swedens responibility. Sweden has not invaded Afghanistan, they are there because the Afghani government wants the Swedes there.

Amnesty are pathetic and just ANTI everything. What are the Swedes supposed to do with murderers, terrorists, rapists? Let them free and let them kill even more?

If the local authorities are into torture, then it is not Swedens problem. It is the law of Afghanistan, Sweden does not partake in the torture. It is far fetched and just plain stupid.

Do gun manufacturers partake in murder if someone gets killed with their gun?

Is Volvo responisble if someone robs a bank with a Volvo car?

16:41 August 27, 2009 by Eurostan
amnesty is a stupid organisation. only lazy people do job in amnesty begging money from donors.

they do not want peaceful world. they hate peaceful countries and people. they like only afghanistan , pakistan , somalia , sudan , india .
17:13 August 27, 2009 by rybo1
Amnesty is a great organization. some of the comments show incredible ignorance.
18:02 August 27, 2009 by GefleFrequentFlyer
AI is a joke, has been a joke for a long time.

If they want to do a tit-for-tat accounting of "torture and human rights violations", lets do some math on how the NATO involvment in Afghanistan is for the betterment of all Afghans. Not these vile taliban fools.

Righteous idiots.
18:09 August 27, 2009 by Greg in Canada
"Amnesty is a great organization"

Amnesty was a great organization. They've been losing a lot of credibility in recent years.
20:33 August 27, 2009 by eZee.se
'm ashamed to say I donated to Amnesty a couple of times in the past, that all changed after the Mohammed cartoons came out.Bunch of turncoats.
21:41 August 27, 2009 by voidplay
"they are there because the Afghani government wants the Swedes there"

but is that part of a UN force or an independent/NATO force ?

AI is technically right and Swedes are supposed to go by the law within their own country, but outside they just follow their American cousins ;-).
23:29 August 27, 2009 by Lea

"AI is technically right" - this is just to say this is a classical Catch-22 problem. No matter what the Swedes do in this case, it will be blamed or will get itself into some trouble.

Every criticism is valid as long as there is some rational point behind it. In this case the statement doesn't make any difference. Or, maybe, they will just kill the next poor guy who'd have a dubious luck to survive a battle against the Swedish armed forces in a battle. Just to avoid getting into this situation again.
00:32 August 28, 2009 by Moshe
Mucker stated: "I'm not a Swedish citizen, but I pay my taxes here. I am not happy to see the armed forces of this country hand over a prisioner to people who will torture him. Regardless of the situation. For one thing it is against international law."

Mucker the prisoner was from Afghanistan and he was turned over to the government of Afghanistan. Afghanistan has a right to punish him for crimes or let him go free. How do you know he will be tortured?

Regardless of the situation, he got caught and if found guilty, he should be shot and his vital organs donated to a Swedish hospital.

Don't get upset. His organs are far more valueable. If you don't believe me, you might ask the reporter who wrote the news article about Israel selling organ parts from prisoners.
01:42 August 28, 2009 by Lea

Small correction: not news article, but a cultural fiction essay. And, also, not organ parts, but dead body parts.
06:38 August 28, 2009 by KarlK
Such people as the taliban deserve the same treatment as they give their victims.

If they want to live by medieval laws and customs, they should accept a bit of torture followed by a festive stoning.

What are amnesty complaining about:-P
07:12 August 28, 2009 by ilan
somthing you GOT to ebutuoy !

Resurrection in Palestine

Poor Starving Gaza Palestinians at the Start of Ramadan

Child Abuse in Gaza, Hamas Terrorists Sponsored Pedophile Wedding"

British Colonel Declares The IDF Did More to Safeguard Civilians Than Any Other Army

Israel embraces Darfur

Cowardly IDF Soldier Saves Palestinian Girl Life

Female Homicide Bomber (suicide)

JUST ebutuoy it !
11:40 August 28, 2009 by Moshe
Lea, stated "Small correction: not news article, but a cultural fiction essay. And, also, not organ parts, but dead body parts."

Lea, you are correct and I retract my comments. Mucker, I apologize, unlike the Swedish government did, for making insensitive statements.

Maybe, I should have said "his organs should be removed from his body prior to being executed and then donated to a Swedish hospital."

Why would anyone want just a part of an organ? I think I will go to Israel and apply for an organ transplant. Will I still be kosher?

Thanks Lea for the enlightment.
09:48 August 29, 2009 by Bob Jacobson
Clearly, the right answer to the conundrum of what to do with prisoners in Afghanistan is -- Sweden should not be in Afghanistan. Nor should any other NATO nation. The war is unwinnable -- candid reports state that the Taliban daily extend their control of regions and roads -- and the allies' motives are unclear, their leadership suspect, and there's not even a reliable sign that the Afghanis want foreigners on their soil. How terrible, indeed, to watch the Taliban again establish their bizarre theocracy mixed with corruption and terrorism -- but that can be said of many countries that do not enjoy NATO intervention.

If NATO isn't fighting an impossible war to prop up a weak regime, it doesn't have to deal with prisoners in unsavory ways. How easy.
16:16 August 31, 2009 by Lea
@Bob Jacobson

History already showed us that avoiding a conflict is not solving the conflict. if you forgot why NATO intervened into Afghanistan, go read post -9/11 news reports and get your memory refreshed. If you argue that this is all just a conspiracy, go buy a present to Michael Moore, and stop reading my message, since it\s for sane poeple, not pseudo-liberals who see theories of conspiracy behind every corner.

Sweden's neutrality in the West-East (or Christiano-Muslim if you wish) conflict is not gonna hold. People who hate Christians will kill Christians, regardless if they are neutral or not. NATO saw that, and intervened. Sweden is still apart of NATO (if I\m not mistaken) and as such was requested to participate in that. I am not sure what would happen to its membership had it refused to be there, but I clearly see a problem of having too much freedom in a MILITARY-based organization. You decide not to not help others, then other may decide not help you one day as well.

Anyway, what done is done, Withdrawing now will create much more problems anyway. Just see what happened in Southern Lebanon between 2000 and 2006. The only reason for that is Israel's desire to withdraw ass soon as possible to satisfy the public from the new government. As you know, It ended with an all-out war six years later. Could have been avoided if the handover was proper and security measures in place to avoid arming of the destructive elements (i.e. Hezbollah).
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