Toews: Send info to torturers

More on the Harper government’s willingness to deal with torturers (Jim Bronskill, “CSIS can share info with foreign agencies despite ‘substantial’ torture risk,” Canadian Press, 2 March 2012):

The federal government has given Canada’s spy service the go-ahead to provide information to foreign agencies even when there is a “substantial risk” it will lead to torture, a newly released document shows.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews outlines instructions for sharing information in such cases in a four-page directive to Canadian Security Intelligence Service director Dick Fadden.

A copy of the July 2011 directive — secret until now — was released to The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

The directive is squarely at odds with Canada’s international commitments against torture — which have no loopholes, said Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International Canada.

“There’s no ifs, ands or buts to that — there’s no qualifications,” he said. “This is one of the clearest areas of international law.”

The directive comes to light just weeks after disclosure of an earlier ministerial order telling CSIS to use information that may have been extracted through torture in cases where public safety is at stake.

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