Detainees transferred by Canadians to Afghan prisons are “likely to have been tortured by Afghan officials” a former senior Canadian diplomat has claimed. At a House of Commons committee yesterday Richard Colvin adversely compared Canada’s treatment of prisoners with that of the British and the Dutch. He said Canada transferred 20 times as many prisoners as the Dutch and that unlike Britain and Holland, Canada did not monitor their conditions properly and took days, weeks or months to notify the Red Cross. He also claims this activity was masked by “walls of secrecy” and poor record keeping. “As I learned more about our detainee practices, I came to a conclusion they were contrary to Canada’s values, contrary to Canada’s interests, contrary to Canada’s official policies and also contrary to international law. That is, they were un-Canadian, counterproductive and probably illegal,” Colvin said. “According to our information, the likelihood is that all the Afghans we handed over were tortured. For interrogators in Kandahar, it was a standard operating procedure.”
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