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US Military Finds No Sign of Detainee Abuse in Afghanistan


The U.S. military in Afghanistan says an inspection of its detention centers shows no sign of recent abuse against those in custody. The review came in response to allegations by a human rights group of alleged mistreatment.

The spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Major Mark McCann says a review of U.S. military detention facilities in the country has turned up no sign of abuse of prisoners over the past seven months.

"The inspection … showed that there were no signs or instance of any abuse taking place, nor were there any signs of any commanders either authorizing or condoning any abuse in any of those facilities," he said.

Major McCann's remarks Wednesday follow a report by the U.S.-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch, which cited allegations of physical and psychological abuse against detainees.

He says the inspection, commissioned in May by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Lieutenant General David Barno, looked only at current conditions and was not an investigation into any past incidents.

"We can't go back and change the past, but what we can do is we can ensure that there are conditions in place now for in the future where we ensure that this stuff will not happen again," he said.

The Human Rights Watch report had urged the military's findings to be made public, and Major McCann said that would be done at some point in the near future.

Many of those held by the U.S. military are suspected of aiding anti-government insurgents. Some former prisoners say guards at the facilities beat or sexually abused them.

Human Rights Watch had also cited eight deaths of Afghans while in custody. Major McCann said investigations are being conducted into each of the eight cases, although only one of the investigations has been completed so far.

Separately Wednesday, the body of a kidnapped Turkish engineer was found in eastern Afghanistan.

The man had apparently been shot several times after he was kidnapped along with his driver and interpreter, who were both freed unharmed.

His death is the second such murder this year of a Turkish engineer helping with road construction in Afghanistan.

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