Detainee hearings held in private -

Detainee hearings held in private

Journalists barred from public inquiry


The federal government is preventing journalists from attending the first two days of Military Police Complaints Commission hearings into allegations Afghan detainees were transferred to local authorities whom Canadians knew were likely to torture them. “I can tell you there’s a security concern that’s been raised,” Department of Justice lawyer Elizabeth Richards told the Globe and Mail, “and so part of the proceedings will be taking place in camera.” The military watchdog’s hearings into the matter were prompted by complaints over the mistreatment of detainees by Amnesty International Canada and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. Paul Champ, the lawyer for Amnesty International, told the inquiry on Tuesday that “approximately one-quarter to one-third of detainees interviewed told Canadian diplomats they had been tortured in the most horrible forms imaginable.” The inquiry is supposed to be public, but it can limit access when the information disclosed could undermine national security.

Globe and Mail

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Detainee hearings held in private

  1. Sounds like dictators rules in a country in Europe prior to 1939!

    • If you have something to say, then say it….

      • He just did, don't you get it ?

        • Why do some folks feel comfortable making snide nazi references on this site and why do so few folks codemn this practice.

  2. This is fine by me, presumably the Commission is therefore getting some actual information.

    Mind you, if it turns out they are still getting redacted documents, unanswered questions and the like, I won't be so happy.

    • I wonder how we could find out which it is.. perhaps we should send in the press… oh wait..

      • Not to worry, Thwim. I have every confidence that the new Commission chair will let it slip, fairly quickly, that he's still getting the runaround if that should be the case.

        • Agree totally with Jenn, the issue with the requested documents is they should be available to parliament (not to the public). There is no doubt information that is sensitive both wrt to the safety of our people and allies overseas and to foreign relations is within those documents. There is also no doubt that the government has abused the protection of that sensitive info to protect itself (and perhaps a future star candidate) from public scrutiny.

          My personal opinion is that the opposition made a tactical error in not enunciating (and selling to the public) a method to keep senstive documents out of the public domain. This has allowed the Conservatives to frame this issue as if releasing information to parliament was equivalent to releasing it to the public. The press never really picked up on the difference since it was never in there interest.

  3. That's okay. All sorts of documents are leaking out and will leak out.

  4. Welcome to the Harper Party of doing things. Welcome to to truth and politics in Harperville. Bully. Suppress. Lie to Canadians. And then claim it is all in the name of "national security". The only thing that is a blatant attempt to secure anything in Ottawa, is Harper wanting to hold onto his job.

    • I don't think it is Mr. Harper you have to worry about……this is going back to the idiot Liberals who's party was in charge originally and passed their mess on to the Conservatives………..what else is new.
      I wonder if old man Rae, Dosanjh, and the other idiot who is seeking attention and trying to make a name for himself (Paul Dewar)….will have access to the hearings. Oh, not to mentiion old man Ignatieff….we can't leave him out can we. Has anyone ever ask Dosanjh if these detainees are by any chance related to him???? Is this why he is attacking the Canadian Soldier, to save one of his own countrymen???,

      • Dosanjh is an Afghan? That's hilarious, Jack. If Harper thought he could blame this on the Liberals he would have embraced a public inquiry at warp speed. The more he sabotages the investigation, the more guilty he looks.

        • He is from Punjab India and there were friendly with the Afghans. Read his bio

          • Do you have a reference for that?

      • Thinking inside the box again, eh Jack?

  5. Why is the never-short-of-words ex-General Hillier so quiet on this key issue that overshadows his leadership. We have not heard from him since he and other military leaders joined Peter MacKay, the PM et al, in the ridicule of Richard Colvin.

    Our "sons and daughters" in uniform are not to blame for any offences against the Geneva Convention (should they arise); that responsibility rests squarely with the Military and Political leadership or lack thereof.

    Come from behind OUR flag Mr. Harper, and take down the wall of secrecy!

    • Especially considering how willing he once was to share his words of wisdom with the world…

  6. Once again Harper & Co. have managed to make themselves victims of unintended consequences. In another time many Canadians would have understood that the the press would not be allowed to report on a meeting that could be discussing matters of national security. But their shenanigans over refusing to release all documents unredacted to the Afghan committee now means to many that Harper & Co. are still trying to hide something that would damage them, not national security. What goes around…

    • If Mr. Harper is trying to hide something……as you have stated, really has nothing to do with the public if it is a matter of National Security. He is the Prime Minister here and not those clowns trying to look good in front of the camera.

  7. The possible complicity of the government in handing over detainees with the knowledge that they would be tortured does not qualify as a matter of national security. It does qualify as a matter of the public right to know what their government knew and when they knew it.

  8. …that should have been a reply to Tony.

  9. This sounds reasonable as long as all the info that isn't top secret eventually finds its way to the public. There's no excuse for not having produced the unredacted documents months ago, however.

    • It doesn't sound quite so reasonable once you learn that the government has agreed to release an unredacted transcript of today's session though. (Apparently they have no issue with the info getting out, they just don't want reporters to see the witnesses. I kid you not.)

  10. I always get a kick when journalists complain about government lack of transparency. Then they go write yet another story with an unnamed source in it.

    National security secrecy = dictatorship
    Media secrecy = for your own good.

  11. Wow the intelligent nature of these comments makes Canadians sound like banjo hillbilly inbred rednecks who all seem to work for the Conservative War Room that floods such sites with vile smears against the very nature of our good democracy.