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Afghanistan: Crumbling prison system desperately in need of repair

, Index number: ASA 11/017/2003

Following over 23 years of armed conflict, the criminal justice system in Afghanistan is not able to protect the rights of the people. Prisons, an essential component of this system, are crumbling after years of neglect and lack trained and qualified staff. While donor attention is focused elsewhere, prison staff are struggling to accommodate thousands of people held for long periods in poor conditions, violating basic international human rights standards relating to the treatment of detainees. While Amnesty International recognizes that the task of rebuilding prisons across the country is enormous and challenging, it urges the Afghan Transitional Administration (ATA) to reconstruct the prison system in a way that protects human rights. The report also documents the problems facing those working in the prison system that prevent them from being able to uphold the rights of all detainees and prisoners. It looks at resource and training issues before focusing on prison conditions. It goes on to document patterns of ill-treatment and arbitrary detention, before making recommendations to the ATA and the international donor community.

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