AFSO is a member of the Detention Working Group (DWG), an advocacy coalition of Afghan human rights and legal aid organizations that focuses on the treatment of conflict-related detainees. The DWG meets regularly to monitor detention conditions and to advocate for greater implementation of Afghanistan’s obligation to prevent torture.
In 2016, AFSO is partnering with Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) delivered two specialised trainings on the Manual on Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, better known as the ‘Istanbul Protocol’ . The Istanbul Protocol provides an internationally recognised set of guidelines on how to effectively investigate and document torture and other forms of ill treatment.
Torture is defined in Article 1(1) of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as:
“…any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.”
Torture is prohibited under both Afghan law and international law. A new Prohibiation of Torture Law came into effect as of 22 April 2017 which AFSO has played an important role in drafting it a a member of DWG. The Dari version is here: Law on Prohibition of Torture- Dari