Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Aljazeera: Canada ''had role in torture".

This is from Aljazeera.
No editorial comments in the article. The article does detail some of the torture and also some of the reaction of Almalki. Almalki is right that the RCMP knew well that he would be tortured even though they deny this. As Iacobucci quaintly described it, this is wilful ignorance. He can't accuse them of lying I guess. Of course it is standard protocol to deny such things. There is a similar protocol when Syrian authorities assure agencies that they will not torture a suspect. Intelligence agencies seem to always believe them and cite the assurances when evidence of torture is presented.

Canada 'had role in torture'
Iacobucci concluded the men had been beaten and burned while in Syrian jails [Reuters]
Canadian officials indirectly contributed to the arrest and torture of three Canadian citizens in Syria and Egypt, a Canadian inquiry has found.
Canadians Ahmad El Maati, Abdullah Almalki and Muayyed Nureddin were arrested by Syrian Military Intelligence during trips abroad between 2001 and 2004 on allegations of having links to al-Qaeda.
All three were later released without charge.
Frank Iacobucci, a retired supreme court judge who conducted the inquiry, concluded the men had been tortured with methods such as beatings with electric cables, burning with cigarettes and being kicked in the genitals.
He said in a news conference on Tuesday: "Mistakes were made ... detention and mistreatment were connected to those mistakes, in my view, in an indirect way.''
Iacobucci said in his report the mistreatment of the men did not result directly from any Canadian action, but Canadian officials indirectly led to the torture of El Maati and Almalki and probably to that of Nureddin, who he concluded had also been tortured in Egypt.
Each of the three, born in Kuwait, Syria and Iraq respectively, had claimed upon return to Canada to have been tortured and that Canadian security officials had labeled them as "terrorists" and supplied their captors with intelligence and lists of questions to ask them.
'Life ruined'
Iacobucci concluded: "I found no evidence that any of these officials were seeking to do anything other than carry out conscientiously the duties and responsibilities of the institutions of which they were a part."
He found that the officials had not been careful enough in applying labels such as "imminent threat" to the men and in preparing questions for Syrian authorities.
But Almalki later told a news conference: "The RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] fully knew that I would be tortured if they sent questions.
"My life had been ruined, my reputation has been ruined."
The Canadian government ordered the probe in 2006 after an earlier inquiry found that Canadian Maher Arar had been deported to Syria by the United States and tortured there, after what the inquiry said was the false identification of him as an Islamic extremist by Canadian police.
Stockwell Day, the Canadian public security minister, said security agencies had taken steps to correct shortcomings following the Arar affair.
He declined to say if compensation would be offered, saying civil lawsuits were in progress.

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