Australia — Mission overview about Afghanistan

Dur­ing my vis­it to Uruz­gan I again vis­it­ed Australia’s pur­pose-built screen­ing facil­i­ty at Multi­na­tion­al Base-Tarin Kot where detainees cap­tured by Aus­tralian forces are held for a lim­it­ed time for screening. 

Again an oppor­tu­ni­ty was giv­en to show rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Aus­tralian media this facil­i­ty, reflect­ing Australia’s com­mit­ment to trans­paren­cy with respect to these matters. 

The facil­i­ty is struc­tured to ensure the humane treat­ment of detainees, con­sis­tent with Aus­tralian val­ues and our domes­tic and inter­na­tion­al legal obligations. 

Detainees are able to freely prac­tice their reli­gion, and are pro­vid­ed access to exer­cise, ade­quate food and water, suit­able sleep­ing arrange­ments and oth­er amenities. 

The facil­i­ty is also open to reg­u­lar inspec­tion by the Inter­na­tion­al Com­mit­tee of the Red Cross. The first such inspec­tion took place in Octo­ber 2010, with anoth­er tak­ing place in March this year. 

Once ini­tial screen­ing is com­plete, detainees are trans­ferred either to Afghan or Unit­ed States cus­tody, or released if there is insuf­fi­cient evi­dence to jus­ti­fy ongo­ing detention. 

In the peri­od 1 August 2010 to 8 May 2011, Aus­tralia appre­hend­ed 590 detainees. Of these, 81 have been trans­ferred to Afghan author­i­ties and 40 to US author­i­ties. The remain­der have been released fol­low­ing ini­tial screening. 

Since 1 August 2010, 15 alle­ga­tions of mis­treat­ment from 13 detainees have been made against the ADF. Thir­teen of these alle­ga­tions have been thor­ough­ly inves­ti­gat­ed. They were found to have had no sub­stance and were dismissed. 

Two more recent alle­ga­tions remain under review. 

These alle­ga­tions and the out­come of the com­pre­hen­sive inves­ti­ga­tions are report­ed in full to the Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force (ISAF) and appro­pri­ate human­i­tar­i­an organisations. 

Over the same peri­od, from 1 August 2010 to 8 May 2011, I am advised the ADF have cap­tured five peo­ple who were sub­se­quent­ly released, then recap­tured. Four of the indi­vid­u­als in ques­tion were released as there was insuf­fi­cient evi­dence to war­rant their con­tin­ued detention. 

In the case of the fifth indi­vid­ual, the sec­ond time he was appre­hend­ed there was suf­fi­cient evi­dence to pro­vide a con­clu­sive link to the insur­gency. In accor­dance with Australia’s detainee man­age­ment frame­work, he was trans­ferred to the Deten­tion Facil­i­ty in Parwan. 

In my March report I updat­ed the House on a num­ber of relat­ed detainee matters. 

I can advise that the Aus­tralian Defence Force Inves­tiga­tive Ser­vice (ADFIS) inves­ti­ga­tion into alle­ga­tions of non-com­pli­ance with the man­age­ment and admin­is­tra­tive pro­ce­dures for the pro­cess­ing of detainees at the ADF detainee screen­ing facil­i­ty is ongoing. 

The CCTV sys­tem at the Ini­tial Screen­ing Sys­tem is func­tion­ing and con­tin­u­ous footage is being record­ed and archived. 

Our detainee man­age­ment approach to the man­age­ment and treat­ment of juve­niles has been updat­ed to ensure there is clear guid­ance on the man­age­ment of juve­niles appre­hend­ed dur­ing the course of ADF operations. 

The Gov­ern­ment cur­rent­ly has three detainee man­age­ment issues under con­sid­er­a­tion and I expect to make an announce­ment on them in due course. 

The first issue is the appro­pri­ate­ness of the length of deten­tion in the Aus­tralian Ini­tial Screen­ing Area to enable the pos­si­ble col­lec­tion of fur­ther infor­ma­tion by Australia. 

The sec­ond issue con­cerns con­tin­gency arrange­ments for the man­age­ment of detainees cap­tured out­side of Uruz­gan, for exam­ple Kandahar. 

The third issue regards the cur­rent require­ment for an ini­tial detainee mon­i­tor­ing vis­it to occur with­in 72 hours after a detainee is trans­ferred from the Aus­tralian Ini­tial Screen­ing Area to US or Afghan custody. 

I will con­tin­ue to pro­vide reg­u­lar pub­lic updates, includ­ing to the Par­lia­ment, on these detainee man­age­ment issues. 

Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces issue

Not only is Aus­tralia com­mit­ted to hold­ing our own per­son­nel to the high­est stan­dards on detainee man­age­ment, but if ADF per­son­nel become aware of con­cerns regard­ing the treat­ment of detainees by our ISAF or Afghan part­ners, Aus­tralia also treats this with the utmost seriousness. 

In March, I advised that in ear­ly Feb­ru­ary Aus­tralian sol­diers wit­nessed an inci­dent that occurred dur­ing an Afghan deten­tion oper­a­tion in Uruz­gan Province. We raised the mat­ter with the Afghan Gov­ern­ment and ISAF and asked that the mat­ter be ful­ly inves­ti­gat­ed. I have been advised sub­se­quent­ly that the mat­ter has been investigated. 

On 1 April, Aus­tralian sol­diers wit­nessed a fur­ther Afghan deten­tion inci­dent in Uruz­gan province. That inci­dent has also been raised with the Afghan Gov­ern­ment and through the ISAF chain of com­mand and I have been advised that the mat­ter is being investigated. 

As well, I have dis­cussed detainee man­age­ment issues with my Afghan coun­ter­parts the Min­is­ter for Defence and the Min­is­ter for Interior. 

They both acknowl­edge and under­stand ful­ly the need to ensure the con­tin­ued cred­i­bil­i­ty and high regard of the Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces and that this includes inves­ti­gat­ing alle­ga­tions of detainee abuse or mis­treat­ment when and where they may arise. 

Sar­poza Prison Break

Assess­ment of the secu­ri­ty impact of the 25 April Sar­poza prison break continues. 

Pri­or to the break out, the Sar­poza prison housed a total of 1298 inmates, com­prised of 730 inmates in the gen­er­al prison pop­u­la­tion and 568 inmates in the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Hold­ing Unit. 

In the ear­ly morn­ing of 25 April, 488 of the 568 pris­on­ers held in the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Hold­ing Unit escaped. Of the escapees, 475 were con­vict­ed insur­gents and 13 were sus­pect­ed insur­gents await­ing trial. 

The ADF’s ini­tial assess­ment of the escapees indi­cates that none of the escapees were detainees that had been cap­tured by ADF forces. 

Fol­low­ing a review of avail­able records, the ADF has iden­ti­fied that four detainees appre­hend­ed by the ADF pri­or to 1 August 2010 were report­ed to have been sent to Sar­poza Prison on 30 Octo­ber 2010. Based on the avail­able infor­ma­tion, the ADF has con­clud­ed that these ADF appre­hend­ed detainees were not among the pris­on­ers that escaped. 

Records show that since 1 August 2010, one detainee appre­hend­ed by the ADF was sub­se­quent­ly trans­ferred from the Afghan Nation­al Direc­torate of Secu­ri­ty in Uruz­gan to Sar­poza Prison on 30 Octo­ber 2010. The detainee was sub­se­quent­ly released. 

The num­ber of escapees with ties to Uruz­gan remains unclear, but ini­tial indi­ca­tions are that the vast major­i­ty of escapees were relat­ed to Kan­da­har and not Uruz­gan province. As such, I am advised that the direct secu­ri­ty impli­ca­tions for Uruz­gan are like­ly to be min­i­mal if any. 

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →