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Afghans defend treatment of detainees as humane
Afghan government says NATO halt to detainee transfers is unjustified, damages relations
By The Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) ' A NATO decision to stop transferring detainees to some Afghan-run detention centers is unjustified and damages the handover of security to local forces, the Afghan government charged on Wednesday.

The British Broadcasting Corp. reported Tuesday that a pending U.N. report alleges that prisoners at some Afghan detention facilities have been beaten and, in some cases, given electric shocks.

As a result, NATO has suspended detainee transfers to a number of questionable facilities until it can verify if the allegations are true, a NATO official told The Associated Press. The official spoke anonymously because the report had not been officially released.

A spokesman for the United Nations mission in Afghanistan said the U.N. had already presented the core of its findings to Afghan authorities.

Interior Minister Besmillah Mohammadi and Rahmatullah Nabil, head of the Afghan intelligence service, described the decision to suspend detainee transfers as politically motivated and aimed at slowing down the transition of security responsibilities to the Afghan government.

Afghanistan is gradually taking over responsibility for the country's security from the U.S.-led military coalition as foreign forces aim to withdraw all their combat troops by the end of 2014.

The Afghan government "believes that any move to halt the transfer of prisoners under any false excuses is a serious blow to the transition process," Mohammadi and Nabil said.

"The Afghan security agencies strongly reject the allegations," Mohammadi said.

Also Wednesday, a French paratrooper was killed by insurgent fire during an operation in the eastern province of Kapisa, the French president's office said in a statement. At least five international service members have been killed so far this month in Afghanistan.

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