Afghan president: No justification for CIA's inhumane torture

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani spoke at a specially convened press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul. (Shah Marai, AFP)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani spoke at a specially convened press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul. (Shah Marai, AFP)

Afghanistan’s new President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday condemned the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) torture detailed in a US Senate report, saying the United States’ actions violated “all accepted principles of human rights” and were part of a vicious cycle of violence.

“The Afghan government condemns these inhumane actions in the strongest terms,” he said at a specially convened press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul.

“There can be no justification for these kinds of actions and inhumane torture in today’s world.”

The US Senate said in a report that CIA torture of al-Qaeda suspects was far more brutal than acknowledged and failed to produce useful intelligence.

The report comes as US-led Nato forces in Afghanistan prepare to end their combat mission 13 years after ousting the Taliban for sheltering then al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

‘Vicious cycle’
Ghani, who took office in September, said: “The reason I want to talk to my countrymen tonight is to explain our position on that report released by the US Senate.

“This report is 499 pages long and since downloading it from the internet last night, I have read every single word of it.

“This is a vicious cycle. When a person is tortured in an inhumane way, the reaction will be inhumane. And thus a vicious cycle of action and reaction is created.”

One of the “black sites” mentioned in the report, where practices such as “rectal feeding” and suspending inmates by the wrists were used, was a facility known as the Salt Pit, located outside Afghanistan’s Bagram Airfield.

“Unfortunately, this report shows that our Afghan countrymen have been subjected to torture and their rights violated,” Ghani said.

“Worse and even more painful is that it has been explained in this report that some of these people subjected to torture were completely innocent and it has been proven that they were innocent.” – AFP

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