Skip to content

Afghans transferred by Canadian soldiers reportedly tortured

CBC reports that, “All detainees transferred by Canadians to Afghan prisons were likely tortured by Afghan officials and many of the prisoners were innocent, says (Richard Colvin) a former senior diplomat with Canada’s mission in Afghanistan.”

“The detainees were captured by Canadian soldiers then handed over to the Afghan intelligence service, called the NDS.”

Colvin told a House of Commons committee that “the most common forms of torture were beatings, whipping with power cables, the use of electricity, knives, open flames and rape.”

“(Colvin) said unlike the British and Dutch, Canada did not monitor their conditions; took days, weeks or months to notify the Red Cross; kept poor records; and to prevent scrutiny, the Canadian Forces leadership concealed this behind ‘walls of secrecy’.”

“Colvin said they began informing the Canadian Forces and Foreign Affairs officials about the detainee situation in 2006 with verbal and written reports. He said the warnings were at first mostly ignored, but by April 2007, they were receiving written messages from government officials that in the future not to put things on paper, but instead use the telephone.”

“Colvin told the committee that the detainees were not ‘high-value targets’ (and) many were just local people at the wrong place at the wrong time. ‘In other words, we detained and handed over for severe torture a lot of innocent people.'”

To respond to our ‘ACTION ALERT: Demand the immediate, safe and orderly withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan’, please go to http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=2173.

The CBC report is at http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/11/18/diplomat-afghan-detainees.html.