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Legal Opinion: Arrangement for the Transfer of Detainees between the Canadian Forces and the Ministry of Defence of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Legal Opinion: Arrangement for the Transfer of Detainees between the Canadian Forces and the Ministry of Defence of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Michael Byers
April 9, 2006
The Canada-Afghanistan "Arrangement"

On December 18, 2005, Chief of Defence Staff General Rick Hillier signed an "Arrangement for the Transfer of Detainees between the Canadian Forces and the Ministry of Defence of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan."
See: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/operations/archer/agreement_e.asp .

The Arrangement "establishes procedures in the event of a transfer" of any detainee from Canadian to Afghan custody.

It commits Canada and Afghanistan to treat detainees "in accordance with the standards set out in the Third Geneva Convention" and stipulates that the International Committee of the Red Cross "will have a right to visit detainees at any time while they are in custody, whether held by the Canadian Forces or by Afghanistan."

The Arrangement states that Canada and Afghanistan "will be responsible for maintaining accurate written records accounting for all detainees that have passed through their custody" and that "[c]opies of all records relating to the detainees will be transferred to any subsequent Accepting Power should the detainee be subsequently transferred." This last sentence thus explicitly envisages that some detainees will be transferred onwards to the custody of third countries.

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