Afghan Prisoner Torture Scandal: War Crimes

The allegations are shocking: prisoners taken by our soldiers in Afghanistan are handed to local Afghan authorities and are subjected to a living hell of torture and abuse.

Despite repeated assurances from our government that these prisoners would not be abused in Afghan prisons – we now know that Canada has been condemning these people to unspeakable treatment.

In thirty interviews with men recently captured in Kandahar province, a Globe and Mail investigation has uncovered a litany of gruesome stories and a clear pattern of abuse by the Afghan authorities who work closely with Canadian troops, despite Canada’s assurances that the rights of detainees are protected.

Canada, as a signatory to many international agreements, is in violation of our responsibilities to prevent torture – in fact according to some experts, our troops and the senior military leadership may be guilty of war crimes.

In response to the Globe and Mail story, the Rideau Institute organized a press conference on April 23rd with Prof. Michael Byers of the University of British Columbia, and Prof. Amir Attaran of the University of Ottawa, both experts in this field.

Michael Byers at a press conference in Ottawa“Under international law, you are prohibited from transferring to torture. You are prohibited from facilitating torture in any way,” said Mr. Byers, to a room filled with journalists.

“If this report is accurate, Canadians have engaged in war crimes, not only individually but also as a matter of policy.”

More to come on this.


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2 Responses to “Afghan Prisoner Torture Scandal: War Crimes”

  1. Brydon GombayApril 24, 2007 at 11:49 am #

    I hope the government will have to move on this. A further concern of mine is what happens to refugee applicants who are sent back to their countries of origin. Despite being a signatory to the Convention against torture, Canada makes no attempt to learn if such people are tortured or killed.


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