Fulltime enMasse Member
Joined: 12 Apr 2006
|Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:38 pm Post subject: Timeline of Torture Issue in Afghanistan
|December 2005 Amnesty International and the BC Civil Liberties Association file an application in the Federal Court seeking to stop the practice of transferring detainees from Canadian custody to Afghan authorities
Feb. 6, 2007 Military officials begin investigation of three complaints by Afghan prisoners that they were abused while in the custody of the Canadian forces.
Feb. 21, 2007 Amnesty and the BCCLA again seek to stop the transfer of detainees
March 2, 2007 Three detainees at the centre of a probe into abuse of detainees by the Canadian forces disappear. They are never found.
March 9, 2007 Amir Attaran reveals a covert agreement signed in 2005 to transfer detainees to Afghan secret police
April 23, 2007 Globe and Mail reveals thirty allegations of abuse by Afghan authorities of prisoners transferred by the Canadian Forces, contradicting earlier claims by the government that no complaints had been made
April 25, 2007 Then Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor says that Canada will monitor detainees for signs of abuse. The same day, the Globe and Mail reveals that a report on the treatment of Afghan detainees was circulated to Cabinet Ministers in 2006 which was censored to remove information damaging to the government. The government had previously denied the existence of this report.
April 26, 2007 The Globe and Mail reports that Michael Byers and William Schabas sent a letter to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court requesting an investigation into Gordon O'Connor and then Chief of the Defence Staff Rick Hillier on the grounds of possible crimes committed against Afghan detainees.
April 27, 2007 Stockwell Day insists Canada has had access to detainees since the beginning of the mission, and that all allegations of mistreatment by Afghan authorities are false. He also insists that the existing agreement provides sufficient protection for Afghan detainees.
April 30, 2007 The government denies that there have ever been any specific allegations of prisoner abuse. Later the same day, Stockwell Day says that Canada has received at least two specific allegations of torture.
May 2, 2007 A source inside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed that the original prisoner transfer agreement was drafted primarily by the Canadian Forces, and that Foreign Affairs was largely frozen out, suggesting that Hillier acted without government authority. Later the same day, the National Post reports that negotiations for a prisoner transfer agreement were initiated approved Paul Martin and Bill Graham in May of 2005 showing that the government was directing policy on detainee transfers.
May 3, 2007 Canadian government signs new detainee transfer agreement with Afghanistan. The agreement includes substantially increased protections for detainees, at least on paper.
May 18, 2007 Amir Attaran testifies before a committee of the House of Commons and reveals a cover-up of reports indicating that detainees transferred by Canada were tortured by Afghan authorities. Lieutenant-General Walter Natynczyk, then Chief of the Land Staff, now Chief of the Defence Staff, says that there is no proof any detainees transferred by Canada have been tortured.
June 6, 2007 Stockwell Day tells the parliamentary committee that they shouldn't care about abuse allegations because the people making the allegations are terrorists.
June 9, 2007 CBC reports that the Department of Foreign Affairs now acknowledges six specific claims of torture or abuse
June 25, 2007 The Globe and Mail reports that one of the investigations into the fate of Afghan detainees transferred by Canada won't be allowed to look into whether or not they were tortured or abused
July 9, 2007 The Globe and Mail reports that the Department of National Defence has been systematically and illegally refusing access to information requests on the topic of the treatment of transferred detainees on the grounds of national security, including information as innocuous as the number of detainees transferred
Sept. 22, 2007 The Globe and Mail reports that fully one quarter of the detainees transferred to Afghan authorities by the Canadian Forces have disappeared and cannot be found
Oct. 29, 2007 La Presse reports that prisoners at Afghan jails in Kandahar province continue to be tortured. The government dismisses the report as Taliban propaganda.
Nov. 6, 2007 The Federal Court dismisses the government's motion to strike the application by Amnesty and the BCCLA for documents relating to prisoner transfers
Nov. 15, 2007 The Toronto Star reports that the government admits that one of the allegations of torture is credible.
Nov. 22, 2007 Peter MacKay asserts that suggesting that the Canadian Forces are involved in war crimes is un-Canadian.
Jan. 24, 2008 The Globe and Mail reports that the government stopped transferring detainees to Afghan authorities on November 5, 2007, but didn't tell anyone.
Jan. 25, 2008 A government spokeswoman says that the government was not told that the Canadian Forces were suspending prisoner transfers. Later the same day, she says she mispoke on that point. Stephane Dion reveals that he and Michael Ignatieff were informed the prior week but were sworn to secrecy.
Feb. 1, 2008 The Globe and Mail reports that the government was aware in the spring of 2007 that the governor of Kandahar was personally involved in torturing prisoners. The allegations against the governor were reported to the International Red Cross by Canadian diplomats, but not to the House of Commons.
December 10, 2008 Amnesty once against files suit in the Federal Court claiming that the new detainee transfer agreement has not stopped torture.
Oct. 7, 2009 Richard Colvin files documents with the Military Police Complaints Commission which is holding hearings on the question, in an attempt to get around the government's attempts to stop him from testifying to the Commission. Colvin claims that the Canadian government was aware of torture as early as 2006.
Oct. 14, 2009 The Toronto Star reports that Colvin warned the government in writing in May 2006 about the risk of torture with transfers to Afghan detainees.
Nov. 18, 2009 Colvin testifies to the parliamentary committee that the government knew it was likely that all detainees transferred by the Canadian forces were tortured.
Nov. 19, 2009 Peter MacKay denies that there has been a single proven allegation of torture, and that Colvin got his information directly from the Taliban.
Nov. 22, 2009 Yahoo News reports that the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission has documented at least 400 cases of torture across Afghanistan. The vast majority of these claims were made in 2006 and 2007, when Colvin was in Afghanistan. The same day, Peter MacKay repeats his assertion that there is no proof that any detainees have been tortured.
Nov. 25, 2009 The government bars Colvin from handing over documents supporting his claims to the parliamentary committee investigating detainee abuse on the grounds of national security. On the same day, the Toronto Star reports that e-mails sent to the office of Peter MacKay as early as 2006 expressed alarm about the treatment of Afghan detainees. This is contrary to MacKay's claim that he never heard anything about it until May of 2007.
Nov. 26, 2009 Former Afghan MP Malali Joya backs up Colvin's claims. Later the same day, Luis Moreno Ocampo, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, begins an investigation into the complicity of NATO troops in the abuse of Afghan detainees. The news makes almost no splash in the Canadian media.
Nov. 27, 2009 Three top generals claim that they were not worried because the Colvin memos never used the word torture, despite the fact that they have been shown to contain descriptions of treatment that amount to torture. Later the same day, in a humiliating new low for Canada, China lectures the government of Canada for its participation in torture.
Dec. 2, 2009 The Canadian Press reports that in June of 2006 the Red Cross warned Canadian diplomats in Kandahar that detainees were being abused by Afghan authorities
Dec. 7, 2009 The Globe and Mail reports that documentary evidence and the sworn testimony of Canadian officers proves at least one instance in 2006 in which Afghan authorities so badly beat a detainee that the Canadian Forces took him back into their custody. This evidence makes a liar of both Peter MacKay and Walter Natynczyk.
Dec. 11, 2009 The House of Commons votes to require the government to turn over all relevant documents in an unedited form to the parliamentary committee. The government flatly refuses on the grounds of national security.
Dec. 14, 2009 Lawrence Cannon admits that some of the detainees transferred by Canada have gone missing and cannot be accounted for because the Afghan authorities refuse to account for them to Canadian officials in defiance of the 2007 agreement.
Dec. 18, 2009 CBC reports that documents prepared for Peter MacKay in 2008 indicate that the military police launched six separate investigations into allegations of abuse involving members of the Canadian Forces.
Dec. 30, 2009 Stephen Harper prorogues Parliament, dissolving the parliamentary committee investigating the abuse of detainees.
Jan. 25, 2010 The Toronto Star reports that the government is refusing to pay Colvin's legal fees after they were the ones to summon him to testify.
Jan. 28, 2010 The government agrees to pay Colvin's legal fees.
Mar. 6, 2010 Amir Attaran reveals that the documents that the government is resisting releasing will reveal that the Canadian government made a policy decision to transfer detainees to Afghan authorities for the purpose of the detainees being tortured.
Mar. 9, 2010 CBC reports that Canadian officials began preparing a public relations strategy as early as March 2007, several months before the first documentation of widespread abuse in the Globe and Mail.
Man! I hate them fancy-lads!