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NATO to investigate Afghan prison abuse allegations

[JURIST] North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer [official profile; BBC profile] said Saturday that NATO will investigate allegations of human rights violations committed by Afghan prison officials. Scheffer's comments follow allegations made by Canadian human rights groups that Canada, a NATO member and prime contributor to ISAF [official website], NATO's security assistance force in Afghanistan, is violating international human rights law [Geneva Convention text] and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text] in allowing detainees initially held in Canadian custody to be turned over to Afghan forces, where they suffer abuse. The groups have filed suit against the Canadian government alleging that the current Canada-Afghanistan Detainee Agreement [text] does not do enough to ensure detainees will not be tortured by Afghan forces [BCCLA press release, PDF; JURIST report].

Scheffer said that NATO countries have the responsibility to defend international human rights, and that NATO has an obligation to prevent Afghanistan from torturing prisoners in its facilities. CTV News has more.

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