DAKAR, Senegal - An investigation by Human Rights Watch has found evidence that Mali's military tortured seven men accused of links to the al-Qaida group that occupied the country's north last year, prompting a French military intervention.
Human Rights Watch senior researcher Corinne Dufka spent hours interviewing each of the seven victims, all of whom showed visible signs of torture. All are from the Tuareg ethnic group, a community that has been the subject of increasingly violent reprisal attacks by Mali's military due to the role prominent Tuaregs played in harboring and aiding the extremists who invaded northern Mali.
The men described being injected with an acid-like substance which ate away their skin. They described being subjected to simulated drowning, akin to waterboarding. And they recalled being brutally beaten.