Thursday, November 19, 2009


Peter MacKay attacking Richard Colvin today:
Mr. MacKay, however, told Parliament that there are “incredible holes” in Mr. Colvin's story.

“There has not been a single, solitary proven allegation of abuse involving a transferred Taliban prisoner by Canadian forces,” he said.
Globe reporting, January 22, 2008:
Compelling evidence that Canadian-transferred detainees are still being tortured in Afghan prisons emerged Monday from the government's own follow-up inspection reports, documents it has long tried to keep secret.

In one harrowing account, an Afghan turned over by Canadian soldiers told of being beaten unconscious and tortured in the secret police prison in Kandahar. He showed Canadian diplomats fresh welts and then backed up his story by revealing where the electrical cable and the rubber hose that had been used on him were hidden.

“Under the chair we found a large piece of braided electrical cable as well as a rubber hose,” reads the subsequent diplomatic cable marked “secret” and distributed to some of the most senior officials in the Canadian government and officers in the Canadian military.

The Globe and Mail has established that the report of the case is recent, written after a Nov. 5, 2007, inspection of the National Directorate of Security prison in Kandahar. That was six months after a supposedly improved transfer agreement was put in place to monitor detainee treatment. The agreement was designed to address problems raised by critics about the ill treatment of prisoners taken by Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan and handed over to Afghan authorities with insufficient follow-up. (emphasis added)
What more do these Conservatives need? Time for a public inquiry, that's for sure. If a judicial inquiry is good enough for the lost salmon, it's good enough to restore Canada's international human rights reputation.

See related posts:

April 25, 2007: Harper's torture problem getting worse:
The Harper government knew from its own officials that prisoners held by Afghan security forces faced the possibility of torture, abuse and extrajudicial killing, The Globe and Mail has learned.
November 16, 2007: One of the most damning indictments of the Harper government to date:
The Harper government knew prison conditions were appalling long before The Globe and Mail published a series of stories last April detailing the abuse and torture of prisoners turned over by Canadian soldiers to Afghanistan's notorious secret police, documents released this week show.