12 Oct 2011

Afghans caught by SAS not tortured - Mapp

2:00 pm on 12 October 2011

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says insurgents caught by SAS soldiers in Afghanistan have not gone on to be tortured by security and police officers in that country.

A United Nations report released on Monday has found that people detained by international military forces had been tortured in Afghan custody.

Scores of people have told the UN they were physically and mentally abused, including electric shocks and toenails torn off, at the hands of Afghan security and police officers.

Last year, the New Zealand Government began investigating the exact role of its Special Air Services troops in detaining prisoners, but it is yet to release its findings.

Dr Mapp told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint on Tuesday he is unaware of any torture taking place.

He says the detentions are undertaken by the Afghan Crisis Response Unit that the SAS is partnered with, and "We have no information that anyone that the Crisis Response Unit has detained has in fact been tortured."

Amnesty International and the Labour and Green parties are calling on the Government to release its findings.

Dr Mapp says it could be a week or more before the report is made public.