Rights groups call for torture inquiry

Two human rights groups are calling for a public inquiry into Canada’s handling of Afghan detainees following a UN report on the torture of prisoners in Afghan government custody (Robert Hiltz, “Rights groups call for Afghan-detainee inquiry after UN report,” Postmedia News, 11 October 2011):

Amnesty International and the BC Civil Liberties Association released a statement Tuesday asking that the federal government open a public inquiry after “many disturbing conclusions” were noted in the UN report, which was released Monday.

The report has threatened to resurrect a controversial and politically divisive issue in Canada — one that spurred the creation of a special panel of judges to decide what information about Canadian soldiers’ handling of prisoners in Afghanistan could be made public.

The rights agencies said Tuesday that Canada’s handling of prisoners violated international law and “should have been reversed years ago.”

Added their statement: “It is critically important, therefore, that the Canadian public get a full and candid accounting of what the government has done and that the government ensure that ongoing responsibilities are met.”

Those responsibilities, according to both Amnesty and the civil liberties group, are to ensure prisoners handed over to authorities are not be tortured or ill-treated.

More on the UN report here.

Also from Amnesty International: Canada urged to arrest and prosecute George W. Bush for torture. Given the government’s grovelling apology back in 2008 for having overzealously used the word torture in the context of U.S. interrogation practices, don’t, er, hold your breath waiting for that to happen.


Tags: Afghanistan, Amnesty International, BC Civil Liberties Association, Torture inquiry, Torture of Afghan detainees