British High Court: Troops Can’t Turn Detainees Over to Afghan Govt

Detainees at Risk of Torture in Afghan Custody

The British High Court has today announced that it is blocking transfers of Afghan detainees held by British troops to the Afghan government, citing evidence of torture in the past and lawyer arguments that the Karzai government could not be counted on not to continue torturing.

Britain was one of several NATO nations which halted transfers of detainees last year after leaked UN reports showed systematic torture in Afghan government run prisons. The Cameron government attempted to restart the transfers in April, despite no real evidence that any change was made.

Lawyers for the detainees had challenged the transfers in British courts, arguing that the nation is forbidden from transferring detainees to face torture, and the High Court conceded that the concerns were valid.

The US has not prevented their own detainee transfers from continuing, though there have been some disputes with the Karzai government’s desire to give detainees actual trials in real courts, which the Obama Administration has ruled out.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of