Compelling evidence that Canadian-transferred detainees are still being tortured in Afghan prisons emerged Monday from the government’s own follow-up inspection reports, documents it has long tried to keep secret.
In one harrowing account, an Afghan turned over by Canadian soldiers told of being beaten unconscious and tortured in the secret police prison in Kandahar. He showed Canadian diplomats fresh welts and then backed up his story by revealing where the electrical cable and the rubber hose that had been used on him were hidden.
“Under the chair we found a large piece of braided electrical cable as well as a rubber hose,” reads the subsequent diplomatic cable marked “secret” and distributed to some of the most senior officials in the Canadian government and officers in the Canadian military.
The Globe and Mail has established that the report of the case is recent, written after a Nov. 5, 2007, inspection of the National Directorate of Security prison in Kandahar. That was six months after a supposedly improved transfer agreement was put in place to monitor detainee treatment. The agreement was designed to address problems raised by critics about the ill treatment of prisoners taken by Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan and handed over to Afghan authorities with insufficient follow-up.
This evidence brings a violation of the Geneva Conventions directly into our house. Canada cannot be participating in such violations and should immediately signify to the Afghan government that enough is enough. We need to put an end to this barbarism now. That’s what we should do. It’s what Canadian values, humanity, morality, and the rule of law require.
Indeed. This is beyond “embarrassing”. This is shameful.