November 21, 2007

Canadian Officials Knew of Afghan Torture, Records Show

Secret documents obtained by court order show Canadian ministers were well aware of torture, rape and other abuse occurring at Afghan prisons filled with detainees that Canadian soldiers had turned over to Afghanistan’s secret police.

According to the Globe and Mail, Canadian inspectors noted that prison floors were covered in “blood and feces” and that some prisoners were shackled at all times, according to the government report.

They also knew a juvenile detention facility had been overseen by a warden accused of rape, and that the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission was barred by police from investigating abuse of detainees in the prisons.

Yet Gordon O’Connor, the defense minister at the time, told the House of Commons that the Commission “has assured us … it is able to monitor all the prisoners,” despite his being told otherwise by Canadian diplomats the day before.

Source:

“Afghan prisons: What Ottawa knew”
Globe and Mail (Canada), November 16, 2007

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