Canada given assurance of no torture to citizens

Canada granted permissions for foreign countries to interrogate their citizens after they were assured that they would not be subject to torture

Canada given assurance of no torture to citizens

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Canada’s spy agency shared information or granted permission for foreign countries to interrogate suspect citizens based on assurances that torture would not be used, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported Friday.

In doing so, critics said the agency broke international law and its United Nations commitments.

Courts and the UN have held that assurance of no abuse of detainees was not adequate protection. The practice of accepting assurances is contrary to international law and Canada’s UN commitments, said Ottawa human-rights lawyer Paul Champ.

That the assurances are worthless was shown when Canada turned some of its detainees over to Afghanistan authorities after receiving the no-torture promise, and that promise was broken, he said.

“Canada’s own experience in Afghanistan amply demonstrated that repeated assurances from the Afghan government did not stop Canadian-transferred detainees from being tortured,” Champ said. 

Furthermore, the information gleaned by torture of an individual could well be tainted and used to torture yet another person.

Newly-released memos showed the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) gave the OK for a Canadian detained abroad to be interviewed as long as the individual’s captors did not employ abusive techniques.

The case was just one of 10 similar instances detailed in CSIS documents obtained by the Canadian Press wire service through freedom of information requests.

In two of the cases, CSIS elicited promises that torture would not be used.

Those promises accepted by Canada and some other countries but they are insufficient to ensure an individual would not be abused and the practice was simply an attempt to skirt international legal obligations, said the secretary general of Amnesty International Canada.

“That’s always problematic from a human-rights perspective,” Alex Neve told the Canadian Press. “It [promise of no torture] is not reliable. And we have been deeply concerned about the ways in which governments around the world have been increasingly relying on assurances.”

CSIS spokesperson Tahera Mufti said the spy organization was “very cognizant” of its legal and ethnical obligations when sharing information.

CSIS, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Canadian Border Services, National Defence and the Communications Security Establishment all potentially deal in information sharing with other intelligence services.

And, in some cases, requests to interview a Canadian held by foreign authorities has been rejected.

The RCMP decided to deny the request to interview a Canadian held in a foreign prison because it was thought detainees were at risk of torture to obtain confessions.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Temmuz 2015, 10:11
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