Human Rights Watch called on Afghanistan to give up plans to appoint an official connected to alleged torture as the country's key intelligence chief.
Afghan President Hamid Karzi's administration this week announced he dismissed Rahmatullah Nabil as the head of the country's national intelligence agency, saying no person should serve in the position for more than two years.
Human Rights Watch reports that Karzai has expressed support for Asadullah Khalid, a former provincial governor of Kandahar, for the position.
The rights group said there was evidence to suggest the Afghan intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security, was involved in systematic torture of detainees in the Afghan prison system.
Allegations suggest beatings and electric shocks were conducted in Kandahar prisons during Khalid's tenure.
Brad Adams, director of Asia programs at the rights group, said the NDS is in desperate need of reform.
"A dark cloud of serious accusations has hung over Asadullah Khalid's head for many years," he said in a statement. "Appointing him as NDS chief would send a disturbing message that the Afghan government has no intention of ending torture."