January 30, 2008

Canada Acknowledges Afghan Torture

Canada’s defense minister acknowledged that the military knew prisoners they transferred to Afghan jails were being tortured.

Although the military stopped such transfers last year, the decision was kept secret, and publicly Canada’s government denied any knowledge of torture of Taliban prisoners by Afghan jailers, according to the Globe and Mail.

Radio Netherlands reports that the government initially “ridiculed” allegations by the political opposition that torture was happening.

One law professor in Ottowa said the revelation makes him doubt Canadians are being told the truth about prisoners and torture in Afghanistan.

Amnesty International is suing to have prisoner transfers banned altogether, claiming that Canada risks violating the Geneva Conventions by handing prisoners over to potential torturers.

Sources:

“Canada halts Afghan prisoner exchange”
Radio Netherlands, January 28, 2007

“Prisoner transfer will resume once Canada sees ‘improvements’ in Afghan jails: MacKay”
Reuters, January 26, 2007

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