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Open Letter calls on Prime Minister of Canada to launch a public inquiry into Canada’s policies and practices relating to the transfer of Afghan detainees to torture

    June 08, 2016

    Signed by many human rights experts, parliamentarians and other eminent Canadians, an Open Letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was just released by the Rideau Institute, further to their earlier report, entitled: Torture of Afghan Detainees: Canada’s Alleged Complicity and the Need for a Public Inquiry, (Omar Sabry, September, 2015, Rideau Institute and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives publishers).                  

    This Open Letter comes just days before the Government of Canada must formally respond in writing to e-70 (Afghanistan), an electronic petition to Parliament calling on the Government of Canada “to establish an independent judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the facts with respect to policies, practices, legal and other opinions, decisions, and conduct of Canadian government actors, including Ministers and senior officials, concerning Afghan detainees throughout Canada's involvements in Afghanistan from 2001”.

    The Open Letter recalls the systematic blockage by the previous Harper government of all efforts to investigate this matter. It further recalls the dogged efforts of then Liberal Opposition MPs, Stéphane Dion and Ralph Goodale, to convince the Harper government to establish a public inquiry. 

    In the words of the signatories to the Open letter: “As a result of the previous government’s stonewalling, there were no lessons learned, and no accountability. In a future military deployment, the same practices could reoccur.”  Accordingly, they call on Prime Minister Trudeau to establish a commission of inquiry that could make recommendations with a view to ensuring that Canadian policy and practice going forward is fully in accordance with the universal prohibition of torture.”

    Attached is the full text of the Open Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau. It is also available at: http://www.rideauinstitute.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Afghan_OpenLetter-Jun7-2016_EN.pdf along with the report: Torture of Afghan Detainees: Canada’s Alleged Complicity and the Need for a Public Inquiry, (Omar Sabry, September, 2015, Rideau Institute and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives publishers). The electronic petition to parliament  e-70 (Afghanistan) is available at: https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-70.

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    For media inquiries, please contact Jacob Kuehn in media relations // 613-744-7667, ext 236 // jkuehn@amnesty.ca