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The Afghan Mission: Transfer deal for detainees called lacking in safeguards
Description: WASHINGTON -- Canada should imprison Taliban and al-Qaeda detainees in its own camp rather than handing them to Afghan military authorities, at least until NATO signs a new and more stringent transfer agreement, NDP defence critic Dawn Black said yes
Date: 31 May 2006
Author: Paul Koring
Source: The Globe and Mail
WASHINGTON -- Canada should imprison Taliban and al-Qaeda detainees in its own camp rather than handing them to Afghan military authorities, at least until NATO signs a new and more stringent transfer agreement, NDP defence critic Dawn Black said yesterday.

Ms. Black and human-rights organizations say the Canadian transfer deal signed in December -- which requires Canadian troops to hand over detainees to Afghan authorities -- is gravely flawed. It fails, they say, to meet international law requiring Canada to ensure detainees aren't subject to abuse or torture after being handed over...

Canada has avoided holding captured al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters for years, handing them over as quickly as possible, first to U.S. forces and, more recently, to Afghan authorities.

But experts in international law and human-rights groups say Canada cannot claim it is blameless if those detainees are subsequently ill-treated or killed.

"We're putting a lot of money and time and lives into Afghanistan, and to do anything to compromise on our own standards of civilization would be a grievous mistake," said Michael Byers, an expert in international law as it pertains to war, who has been sharply critical of Ottawa's detainee-transfer deal and regards the Dutch deal as an admirable model for safeguarding detainees...



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