General

Conservatives push to limit findings of Afghan torture report

Report due on whether army cops ignored suspected abuse of prisoners

The Conservative government is ramping up efforts to circumscribe into allegations of torture involving detainees in Afghanistan. The Military Police Complaints Commission investigation has been looking into whether military police ignored suspected abuse while transferring prisoners to Afghan authorities, and the Tories argued in Federal Court last week that its final report should leave out evidence from witnesses like Richard Colvin, a former diplomat based in Afghanistan who testified in 2009 that his superiors ignored repeated warnings that detainees faced serious risk of torture after Canadian soldiers placed them in Afghan custody. The federal government already argued in 2009 that the military watchdog’s findings should be limited to what military police knew or could be reasonably expected to know, with success. Now they are pushing to narrow the definition of what the military police should have known to include only information military police would have physically possessed, instead of what they could have found out by asking questions. They want to exclude testimony of diplomats like Colvin, and civilians who didn’t work at the defence department, and any files they have documenting or warning of torture and abuse.


Toronto Star

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