Canadians Accused of Facilitating Torture

Last modified on April 24th, 2007

If you were reading the news yesterday, you probably heard of the allegations that Canadians overseas have aided in the torture of Afghan prisoners by handing them over to local authorities and then not following up on their treatment. To quote a few paragraphs from the Globe and Mail:

Critics demanded the resignation of Defense Minister Gordon O’Connor yesterday over new allegations that Afghan prisoners, detained by Canadian soldiers and handed over to local authorities, had been tortured.


Professor Michael Byers of the University of British Columbia, a specialist in international relations, said if the allegations proved true, Canada had broken a United Nations treaty against torture and the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war.

“I hope the Canadian people realize just how terrible a day this is. If this report is accurate, Canadians have engaged in war crimes,” he told reporters.

I won’t spend too much time detailing this whole incident or the potential ramifications of it, since it’s described in great detail over at If you wish to make your voice heard about this incident or others, you can, as suggested on Matthew’s blog, write to your Members of Parliament, the Cabinet, the Prime Minister’s Office, or even by demonstrating with a simple photographic gesture (similar to the one shown here).