Canada ex-defense chief rejects alleged military complicity in torture of Afghans

Patrice Collins

Canadian former Chief of Defence
Staff Rick Hillier testified in front of
the House of Commons Special
Committee on the Canadian Mission
in Afghanistan on Wednesday,
denouncing allegations that
Afghan detainees transferred from
Canadian to Afghani authority were
likely tortured by Afghan officials.

Hellier dismissed statements made
last week by Richard Colvin,who
represented the Department of
Foreign Affairs and
International Trade (DFAIT)
in Kandahar from 2006-2007,
accusing both the government
and military of ignoring and
even suppressing reports of
torture by Afghan authorities.

Colvin, currently deputy head
of intelligence at the Canadian
Embassy in Washington,
cited upwards of 12 memos that
he sent to top officials beginning
in early 2006 indicating that
captives transferred from
a Canadian military base
in Kandahar to Afghan authorities
were subsequently tortured.

After reviewing the reports,
Hillier insisted that the reports
did not contain any information
that would require Canadian officials
to bring them to his attention.

Amnesty International Canada
the British Columbia Civil Liberties
Association filed complaints
in 2007 against the
Canadian Forces Provost Marshal,
alleging complicity in torture
by Canadian personnel
serving in Afghanistan.

Amnesty accused Canada of
violating the Charter of Rights
and Freedoms by turning
Afghan detainees over
to Afghan authorities without
any protection against later cruel
and unusual punishment.

In March 2008, the Canadian
Military Police Complaints Commission
(MPCC) decided to hold
public hearings to investigate
the country's detainee transfer
process in Afghanistan despite
a move from the Canadian
Department of Justice to
block the inquiry.

In September, the Canadian
Federal Court ruled that the
MPCC's authority was limited
to the investigation of
military police, and it did not have
the authority "to investigate
government policy and to
inquire as to the state of
knowledge of the Government
of Canada at large."

Link here

Sent from Kigali, Rwanda

No comments:

Post a Comment