A new Harris-Decima survey shows 51 per cent of Canadians believe diplomat Richard Colvin’s assertions that all of the detainees handed over to Afghan authorities in 2006 and 2007 were likely tortured, and that government officials knew about their treatment. These results come after Colvin told the Parliamentary Committee investigating his allegations that he had warned the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs about the torture, but was ignored. The Harper government is doing all it can to discredit Colvin, claiming that his testimony is unreliable and his colleagues do not support the torture allegations. However, the survey shows that only a quarter of Canadians believe the Conservative’s side of the story, and emails obtained by the Globe and Mail show that the government was trying to minimize media questions about the transfer of prisoners during Colvin’s time in Afghanistan. Laurie Hawn, the parliamentary secretary to Defence Minister Peter MacKay, says Canadians have yet to hear the full story, and that their opinions may change once more witnesses, including former chief of defence staff Rick Hillier, testify before the Parliamentary Committee.
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