The Canadian government should carry out a full and public inquiry into the alleged torture of detainees whom Canadian forces transferred to Afghan government custody in 2006-07, Human Rights Watch said today.
Senior Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin, who was based in Afghanistan in 2006-07, told a House of Commons committee last week that persons taken prisoner by Canadian forces in Afghanistan and transferred to Afghan custody during that time period were likely tortured. Colvin testified that he made repeated warnings about detainee abuse. He said that his warnings were at first ignored by senior Canadian government officials, but he was then later instructed to "be quiet and do what we were told."
Under the Convention Against Torture, which Canada ratified in 1987, states are obligated to prevent, investigate, prosecute, and punish its nationals who are complicit or participate in acts of torture. Knowingly transferring persons to a government where they are likely to be tortured may amount to complicity in torture.
Humanists for Social Justice and Environmental Action supports Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice, Environmental Activism and Planetary Ethics in North America & Globally, with particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights UN treaties and conventions listed above.