Dear Ceasefire.ca Supporter,
I have just returned to my office from the CTV televisions studios, where I urged the government not to restart the transfer of prisoners to local Afghan prisons.
My appeal was motivated by an extreme sense of urgency. You may have read in the newspapers last week the story of a 50-year-old labourer and his 11-year-old son, living in Kandahar where our troops are based, who were picked up by Afghan police.
The officers, our allies in the fight against the Taliban, took the man and boy to a police checkpoint and gang-raped them both. The father said, “As they did it to me, I could hear the others doing it to my son.”
We know this story is true because fortunately three of the policemen responsible were charged, found guilty, and sentenced to 10 years in prison by a Kandahar court. But rape is under-reported and rarely makes it to trial.
I am shocked that the military, no doubt with the approval of the Harper government, is starting this terrible practice of handing detainees to local authorities once again. Amnesty International and others are calling on the government to stop these handovers.
The evidence that torture is rampant throughout the judicial system is undeniable. Even Canadian inspectors could not ignore the evidence of torture, and the military quietly stopped handing over prisoners to Afghan authorities last November.
I urge you, if you have not already done so, to join with the 685 other Ceasefire.ca supporters in sending your letter to Prime Minister Harper, urging him to stop the transfer of detainees.
Thanks for taking action.