Thursday, December 20, 2007

Torture in Afghanistan back in the news

The torture of detainees handed over by Canada continues in Afghanistan as the Globe reports today. Sure there's monitoring now. And one prison official has been "suspended." But it goes on. And other than a lot of talk about "pressing the Afghans" to live up to their obligations, our government's not doing much to change the situation other than the status quo.

What we're witnessing in Afghanistan is a system designed to facilitate evil. A system in which torture happens, it's affirmed by external observers that it's happening and all we do is express futile protest to the Afghan government that it's happening.
Roughly a quarter of the prisoners interviewed in Afghan jails as part of Canada's follow-up inspections of transferred detainees said they were tortured or abused, according to documents filed in Federal Court and the statements of senior Harper government officials.

The documents confirm "eight allegations of physical abuse at Afghan prison facilities were made by detainees transferred to Afghan authorities by the Canadian Forces." The government refuses to say how many detainees were transferred during that period.
Thanks to Amnesty International for insisting that our government put a stop to enabling these practices. Once again, we'd likely never see or hear this information from the secretive Harper government but for the lawsuit brought by Amnesty seeking to halt the prisoner transfers.