Some of the freed prisoners from a Taliban jail in southern Helmand province on Tuesday said they were beaten and kept hungry for days.
Some 60 people, including Afghan soldiers, and policemen and civilians, were freed from the jail as a result of a joint operation by the Afghan and US special forces in Nawzad district of Helmand.
“I am from Sangin district. Taliban captured me four years and eight months ago on the charge of working with police,” one of the freed men, Ziauddin, said.
Taliban shifted him to more than six jails they run and would beat him, blindfold him and would not give him food for days, he said.
“I passed through a difficult time in the prison. Even once I drank my urine due to too much thirst. We preferred death over life in captivity,” he said.
Ziauddin said the prisoners would recite Quranic verses but Taliban would still call them ‘kafir’ (non-believers) and would beat them.
Another rescued person, a de-miner, Khalil Rahman, from Narkh district of central Maidan Wardak said “about 14 months ago, the Taliban attacked us near the military crops in Khorab area. They killed 12 de-miners and arrested three others including me.”
They were kept in Nadali and Marja prisons for 45 days before shifting them to Baghran district and then to Nawzad district, he said.
“They kept us alive for a prisoner swap to get released Taliban prisoners, but the government did not accept their demand. Taliban would beat us every day and would not let us meet anyone,” he said.
He said before the raid on the prison, the Taliban moved 34 ANA soldiers to another area. “Taliban imprisoned me because my son is a policeman,” a 60-year-old resident, Mohammad Jan, said.
During his five months in Taliban’s jail, Jan said he would eat meals purchased with his own money and the rebels would provide meals to captive policemen and soldiers.
“Taliban arrested me for being in police and they would every day tell me their court has decided I shall be killed,” Abdul Samad, a 15-year-old boy, a resident of Musa Qala district. The Taliban captured him five months ago.
Another freed local policeman, Amir Mohammad from Greshk district, said that he was detained by Taliban six months ago.
“The Taliban court sentenced 17 people including me to death, but Allah saved us when the ANA launched operations to rescue us,” he said, complaining about their mistreatment by Taliban.
Those freed included 22 national policemen, 22 local policemen, 13 civilians and three de-miners, Maiwand Military crops commander in Helmand Maj. Gen. Mueed Faqir told Pajhwok Afghan News. Taliban had imprisoned some children and aged people for ransom, he said.
However, a Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said the raid on the prison had been repulsed and none of the captives had been released.
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