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46336

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 8 months ago

 

BREAKING WAR RULES

RIGHTS GROUPS BLAST CANADA FOR HANDING TERROR SUSPECTS TO U.S.

Stephanie Rubec, Sun Ottawa Bureau, 22 Sept 05

 

Canada is breaching an international convention forbidding torture by turning over al-Qaida and Taliban suspects captured by Canadian commandos in Afghanistan to the U.S., say human rights organizations.

 

The organizations warned that by handing over insurgents to countries who refuse to adhere to the humanitarian rules outlined by the Geneva Convention, Canadian soldiers should expect barbaric treatment if they're captured.

 

"We continue to be complicit in human rights violations essentially," said Alex Neve, Amnesty International Canada's secretary general.

 

"And we continue to breach our obligations under the Geneva Convention."

 

Neve said Canada must be "absolutely clear" and receive "unequivocal assurances" from the U.S. that interrogators are going to follow strict humanitarian guidelines or Canadian soldiers should detain and interrogate suspected al-Qaida and Taliban members themselves.

 

"We are party to a conflict and part of being party to a conflict is to have resources, facilities and personnel in place to deal with the fact that you may take people into your custody," he said.

 

The Canadian military revealed Tuesday that Joint Task Force 2 soldiers are killing and capturing suspected insurgents in Afghanistan. Those taken alive are turned over for interrogation to the U.S. military or the Afghanistan government.

 

The United States considers the prisoners "unlawful combatants," which means they are not protected by the Geneva Convention, which provides strict guidelines for detention and interrogation.

 

Since launching its war on terrorism in 2001, the U.S. has come under fire from humanitarian organizations for torturing prisoners in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay by using dogs and stripping them naked during interrogations.

 

Warren Allmand, a member of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, said terrorist cells operating in Afghanistan won't hesitate to treat any Canadian they capture in the same abusive manner their members are being treated in American jails.

 

Allmand said Canada will have no right to complain if Canadian soldiers are tortured by their captors.

 

"We're worried because if you flout the law, how can you complain when the other guy flouts the law with your guys?" he said.

 

Allmand said Canada could abide by the Geneva Convention it has signed if it kept its prisoners in camps supervised by the Red Cross.

 

NDP MP Joe Comartin said participating in the hunt for Taliban and al-Qaida operatives in Afghanistan "increases our potential for being a target for terrorism."

 

Comartin said Canadian commandos should be yanked from Afghanistan until Parliament debates whether they should even be there and what they should do with prisoners.

 

"If we were going to do that then there would also have to be conditions on how we conducted ourselves, and the American model is not the one we should be following with regards to the treatment of prisoners," he said.


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