A UK Court has banned the UK military from handing over prisoners to the Afghani government’s National Directorate of Security because it tortures its prisoners. It seems our government does not have the same scruples as the UK courts. Wayne Mapp has confirmed that the SAS has been involved in handing prisoners over to the NDS. Mapp indicated he didn’t give a damn what happens to the prisoners after that, calling them an “Afghan responsibility”.
Sorry, Mapp, but you’ve got to take responsibility. Torture is illegal under international law and so is handing someone over to people you can reasonably expect will torture them. There’s no moral or legal difference between being the torturer or the torturer’s prisoner collector, which is what the SAS is acting as.
In June, Defence Chef Lieutenant-General Jerry Mateparae told a select committee that the SAS had been present at 22 incidents where people were arrested in Afghanistan. How many people they helped deliver into the hands of torturers, the government won’t reveal.
Assisting torture is despicable in and of itself and illegal but, additionally, I can’t help but think that the role of our SAS is harming our other activities in Afghanistan.
the Provisional Reconstruction Team was previously pretty safe and well regarded by the local population that had benefited greatly from the reconstruction work. But since our SAS was deployed by the Key government, attacks have increased dramatically, including the attack that killed Tim O’Donnell.
I can’t help but wonder if the SAS’s actions have made all Kiwi soldiers targets in the Taliban’s eyes. The Taliban knows that to get rid of the SAS it just has to make the war more unpopular with the New Zealand public by upping the cost, and the PRT is a much softer target than the SAS itself.