Tag Archives: Afghanistan prisoners

Canada Halts Transfer Of Afghan Prisoners

The government of Canada has quietly ceased transferring any Afghan prisoners captured by their forces to the government of Afghanistan due to concerns over treatment of detainees. In a letter to Amnesty International and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Assocation, Canadian authorities said they had ceased sending detainees to the control of Afghan forces following complaints of abuse by one prisoner. A Canadian human rights officer discovered braided electrical wire and a rubber hose while interviewing a detainee who claimed to have been beaten with the torture implements. The letter sent to human rights groups stated bluntly, “there have ben no transfers of detainees to Afghan authorities since that date.”

Athough Canada has not revealed the number of prisoners transferred to Afghan control it is estimated to range as high as 200. It appears Canadian authorities fear continuing to send prisoners to certain torture eventually will be used by human rights groups in attacking Canada as a supporter of torture and violation of international rules concerning treatment of prisoners.

US Prison Facility In Afghanistan Expands

The United States has quietly expanded the number of “enemy combatants” being held in judicial limbo at Bagram military base in Afghanistan. The facility has grown to more than twice the size of the controversial and much more widely discussed Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. Both prisons hold inmates incommunicado for weeks or months and deny them access to legal opportunities to defend themselves against charges of terrorism. New York Times figures indicate there are about 630 prisoners in the facility which is twice the number in Cuba. US officials have admitted that Afghan guards beat at least two prisoners to death and there are isolation cells which are deemed to be inhuman. the International Committee of the Red Cross(ICRC) claims prisoners are being treated in a manner that is in direct violation of the Geneva Convention.

The Bush administration has scant interest in traditional procedures for the treatment of prisoners since they excuse all violations of the Geneva Convention on the ground the United States is not fighting ordinary combatants. Every nation which violates human rights uses the same excuse. For the Nazis, Jewish people were not human so they could be brutalized. For Bush, the prisoners are evil and thus all evil people, by definition, can be treated in any shape or manner. One problem is that for most of these prisoners, no trial has ever convicted them of being what Bush claims they are-evil combatants.