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Quote:Detainees do not have Charter rights: judge


The Canadian Press

March 12, 2008 at 4:12 PM EDT

Prisoners captured by Canadian troops in Afghanistan are not protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a judge has ruled.

In a decision released Wednesday, Federal Court Judge Anne Mactavish said detainees do have rights under the Afghan constitution and international law – but not under Canadian law.

The case was brought by Amnesty International Canada, which argued that the prisoners should be protected by the Charter. Amnesty raised the matter in an attempt to stop the transfer of detainees to local Afghan authorities after reports of torture.

The decision came as the chairman of the Military Police Complaints Commission ordered public hearings into concerns over the fate of the prisoners.

Peter Tinsley said the hearings are necessary because the Conservative government has refused to provide full access to information.

“Ordering a public interest hearing is necessary to ensure a full investigation of the grave allegations raised in this complaint,” Mr. Tinsley said in a statement.

“The principal difficulty which has given rise to this decision has been the government's refusal to provide the commission with full access to relevant documents and information under the control of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Correctional Service of Canada.”

Holding a public inquiry gives Mr. Tinsley the power to subpoena documents.

Amnesty and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association filed a complaint with the commission about the military police practice of transferring prisoners to Afghan authorities.

In the complaint, it was alleged that military police handed over prisoners on at least 18 occasions even though there was evidence of torture in Afghan jails.

Lawyers for Amnesty and the B.C. group have run into the same roadblocks as the commission and relied on a judge to order the Defence Department to surrender its documents on prisoners, which the army has deemed a matter of national security.

Jason Gratl of the B.C. group said the inquiry will be worth it and accused the Tory government of stonewalling. He said he expects this latest quasi-judicial process to be just as excruciating as the court case.

“The government is going to squirm and squirrel and use every means at its disposal, hoping to avoid disclosure,” Mr. Gratl said. “We're expecting Mr. Tinsley to be up to the task of holding the government to account.”

The Canadian military has been handing captured fighters over to Afghan authorities since a battle group arrived in Kandahar in early 2006. There have been dozens of abuse allegations, but the Conservative government insisted throughout most of last year that they were unproven claims or lies made up by propaganda-savvy Taliban.

The reports did prompt the government to beef up its agreement last spring with the Afghan government to allow for surprise inspections of prisoners and jails. It was on one of the those tours that Canadian diplomats came across a clear case of torture, where an Afghan prisoner had been beaten unconscious with an electrical cable and a hose.

The handovers were temporarily suspended and resumed only just recently.

The question of whether the Conservatives will allow public hearings remains up in the air because Mr. Tinsley still needs approval to fund the probe. The cost is expected to be in the range of $2-million.

Holding a full public inquiry would add months to the investigation.

Canada's Left loses another one.
It's amazing how these lefties operate. You're at war and they want us to treat these criminal mass murderers as if they are citizen with an alleged crime pending. Same here in the USA. Good on the judge.
Palladin Wrote:It's amazing how these lefties operate. You're at war and they want us to treat these criminal mass murderers as if they are citizen with an alleged crime pending. Same here in the USA. Good on the judge.

It's really not amazing at all. To the Kook Left, ANYTHING is a target for bringing down the other side. Doesn't matter the morality, patriotism, etc, etc, of it all. Remember, the means are justified by the ends.

Don't believe me? If the Beast is elected, and it appears she has a better than 50% chance, she will be Hell on Wheels, and those very same Kooks will be rattling the sabres and ready to take on ANYONE, who does not toe their line.

Just take the Grizz,.................please! :mrgreen: Do you think for one minute that he will do his usual 'song and dance' if his party is in the White House? Do you?

This is another major bone of contention with me over Junior. Even when they tore him down, he was not smart enough to fight back and defend himself. After all, he was above all that infighting right? Now, just look at how much further McThing is going on this. He is taking it to a new level, because he is above the opposition. And he will continue to be above it while he goes down in flames.
Yes, but good for Canada on standing pat so far on the idea that these are NOT Canadian citizens protected by Charter. It is also nice that before such a stupid money-sucking investigation can go forward, it needs to be voted on for funding. Lets hope the tight-fisted balance out the useful idiots.

I agree with your take on them. Grizz and his kind would murder us if they could get away with it,I know that. I fully understand these "save the world" freaks.