Canada documents detail continued Afghan mistreatment of transferred detainees

[JURIST] The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) [advocacy website] on Monday released internal Canadian government documents [PDF text] detailing evidence of continued mistreatment and abuse of detainees transferred by Canadian forces to Afghan authorities. The documents, originally distributed to senior officials of the Canadian government and officers of the Canadian military, detail an investigation conducted by Canadian officials last November which found circumstantial evidence that detainees were abused at a facility belonging to the Afghan National Directorate of Security in Kandahar.

Last November, the Federal Court of Canada ruled [JURIST report] that Amnesty International [advocacy website] and the BCCLA should be granted public interest standing to seek judicial review of actions or potential actions of Canadian military personnel deployed in Afghanistan, rejecting the Canadian government's motion to strike the groups' application on the grounds that they lacked standing and the issue was political in nature. The rights groups allege that Canadian forces deployed in Afghanistan are bound by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text] and that Canadian personnel transferring Afghan prisoners at risk of torture by Afghan authorities have violated the Charter's prohibition against the deprivation of life, liberty, and security. Also in November, Canadian opposition parliamentarians called for the government to stop detainee transfers [JURIST report], after documents [text] released by the Canadian government appeared to confirm allegations that transferred suspects had been subjected to abuse. Last May, Canada and Afghanistan entered into an agreement allowing for the monitoring of prisoners [JURIST report] transferred from Canadian to Afghanistan custody. The Globe and Mail has more.

 

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