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.
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