UK High Court judges have placed a temporary ban on the transfer of prisoners from UK military detention centres to Afghan jails, after it emerged that prisoners may face torture there.
The Ministry of Defence was planning to resume transfers to Afghan jails, which were halted earlier in 2012, as it believed that treatment there had improved.
However, UK courts are currently hearing a case brought by an Afghan farmer who claims that he was tortured after being sent to an Afghan jail by the British.
The High Court has decided that transfers cannot resume until the outcome of the case is decided.
The case has risked causing considerable upset between the Afghans and the British, who are in the process of negotiating their withdrawal after 13 years as an occupying force there.
Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Simon heard the case on Thursday last week and decided to place an interim injunction on prison transfers until an application for judicial review can be heard at the end of November.
"It seems to me that that which caused the Ministry of Defence to impose a moratorium (earlier this year) raises the very question that justifies imposition of interim relief," said Lord Justice Moses.
The judges acknowledged that the decision to halt transfers undermined the limited resources available to the UK in Afghanistan and may have a damaging effect on the wider effort in fighting insurgency.
UK forces detained the Afghan farmer, Serdar Mohammed, in April 2010. He was held captive for three months before being transferred to the Afghan National Director of Security (NDS).
Mohammed claims the NDS beat him until he signed a confession admitting to being a member of the Taliban. He was then jailed for 16 years after a trial lasting just 15 minutes.
Judges put temporary ban on Afghan prisoner transfers (The Telegraph)