Friday, September 27, 2013

Afghan Prisons Soon to be Reformed

Afghanistan's prisons are known to be rife with abuse. Among the most notorious of these abuses is the tendency to use torture methods on inmates in order to draw confessions. Investigators discovered that at least fourteen different methods of torture have been used. Other abuses include overcrowding, delaying a prisoner's release illegally, and virginity examinations. Virginity examinations are given to women and girls charged with sex outside marriage (called zina) or even just running from home, though it's agreed that these examinations are inaccurate. President Hamid Karzai, however, has established a committee on September 8th in order to implement reforms on the Afghan prisons. Through a three month long recommendation process, the government hopes to take action to address these critical issues.

                Afghanistan is not the only country with prison abuse, however. In fact, prison abuse is  a frequent occurrence all over the world from the most developed countries to the least developed ones. While some assume that this sort of abuse exists only due to an oppressive government administration, such as those that are known for neglecting human rights, many still ignore or are unaware of the abuses that occur in countries like the US. Brutality on the part of prison staff is an increasingly frequent problem, to name one of many. Furthermore, we must be aware of the abuses that women in particular are treated in a prison environment. Sexual violence occurs behind prison gates all over the world, and it's no surprise that much of this is directed towards females behind bars. It seems that once someone has been vilified by society and labeled a criminal, many of their basic rights as a human are no longer respected. It is a controversial idea that is reflected in debates like whether the death sentence should be deemed inhumane. Though a crime may be heinous, there is still a fundamental respect that should be placed towards another human's life. Setting an example for even the worst can reflect on changes towards treatment of other kinds of prisoners, such as those who are wrongly detained or are prisoners of war. Therefore, a change must be considered on a widespread level. A human is still human, regardless of what they've done.

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