The issue of Metro that is coming out tomorrow is going to reveal three incidents – one in 2002 and two in 2010 – when the New Zealand SAS in Afghanistan took prisoners and handed them to other forces. Allegations of this sort of thing have been going on since last year, but Prime Minister John Key and Defence Minister Wayne Mapp have repeatedly denied New Zealand special forces have taken prisoners, but Metro‘s investigation contradicts those claims. Journalist Jon Stephenson, has uncovered evidence that the unit has not only taken prisoners but transferred them to Afghan authorities known for torture and mistreatment.
“The National Directorate of Security tortures prisoners, that’s not in dispute,” Stephenson told 3 News. “The British army is banned from transferring prisoners to the National Directorate of Security, at the very office where we are transferring prisoners. The question is not so much whether the NDS tortures prisoners, it’s whether the SAS is involved in doing that, and every bit of evidence I’ve seen in Afghanistan leads me to believe they are.” According to Amnesty International
[T]he NDS, has demonstrated a persistent pattern of human rights violations perpetrated with impunity. Dozens of NDS detainees, some arrested arbitrarily and detained incommunicado without access to defence lawyers, families, courts or other outside bodies, have been subjected to torture and other ill-treatment, including being whipped, exposed to extreme cold and deprived of food,
The New Zealand Herald reports that prisoners taken by the SAS and later released without charge claim they were bound and hooded while dogs rushed at them in a threatening manner, paraded naked in front of Americans, and one was said to have been beaten so severely that he couldn’t move his hands or legs and ended up disabled and in a wheelchair. Tomorrow’s news could make New Zealand’s involvement in the Afghan war even more unpopular.