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Military



11 May 2004

U.S. Reviews Alleged Abuse of Afghan Policeman by Coalition Forces

U.S. Ambassador Khalilzad pledges thorough military investigation

The U.S. military has launched an investigation into charges by an Afghan policeman that he was abused while in the custody of coalition forces in August 2003.

According to a May 12 press release by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, U.S. officials learned of the alleged abuse through press channels. The policeman has claimed that he was "striped naked, photographed while naked, kicked and subjected to sexual taunting while he was incarcerated" by coalition forces in Gardez and Bagram.

U.S. Special Presidential Envoy and Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad expressed his confidence that the investigation will be thorough and will determine the truth of the allegations, according to the press release. Appropriate action will be taken against the perpetrators if the charges are found to be true, said the ambassador.

Following is the text of the press release:

(begin text)

Press Release

U.S. Embassy Kabul
Office of Public Affairs

For Immediate Release
May 12, 2004

United States Embassy in Kabul Responds to Press Report Alleging Abuse

The United States Embassy has learned through press channels that an Afghan police officer, who reportedly was held by Coalition forces in Gardez and Bagram in August 2003, has alleged he was striped naked, photographed while naked, kicked and subjected to sexual taunting while he was incarcerated. According to the report the officer was later released.

The U.S. military has launched an immediate investigation. "To the best of our knowledge this is the first time anyone in the military chain of command or the United States Embassy has heard of this alleged mistreatment. We are not aware of the existence of any photos of the alleged incident," said U.S. Special Presidential Envoy and Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.

Ambassador Khalilzad said he was confident the U.S. military's investigation will be thorough, will determine the truth of the allegations and if they are true, appropriate action will be taken.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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