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Afghanistan working to ensure safety of detainees: ambassador

[JURIST] Afghan Ambassador to Canada Omar Samad [official profile] said Friday that his country still considers its agreement with Canada regarding the transfer of detainees to be in effect and is working closely with NATO forces to ensure the safety of prisoners in Afghan custody. The statement [press release] comes two days after reports surfaced that Canada had ceased turning over detainees to Afghan authorities [JURIST report; press release, PDF] in November amid concerns that prisoners were being abused in at least one Afghan detention center. Samad said that Afghanistan is currently investigating the allegations. He also said that earlier this month, Afghan President Hamid Karzai [official profile] issued a decree "reinforcing the prohibition on human rights violations" in Afghan prisons. Samad said that the Afghan government was only made aware of Canada's decision this week, and characterized it as "operational [in] nature." AP has more.

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association [advocacy website] on Monday released internal Canadian government documents [JURIST report; full text, PDF] detailing evidence of continued mistreatment and abuse of detainees transferred by Canadian forces to Afghan authorities. The documents, originally distributed to senior officials of the Canadian government and officers of the Canadian military, detail an investigation conducted by Canadian officials last November which found circumstantial evidence that detainees were abused at a facility belonging to the Afghan National Directorate of Security in Kandahar.

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