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Canada judge refuses to block detainee tranfers to Afghans

[JURIST] Canadian Federal Court Justice Anne Mactavish Thursday refused to issue an interlocutory injunction [judgment, PDF; summary, PDF] that would have prohibited the Canadian military from turning over detainees to Afghan authorities. Amnesty International Canada and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) [advocacy websites] had requested the injunction, alleging that detainees may be subjected to torture in Afghan custody and that the transfers may violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text; fact sheet]. Mactavish ruled that the Amnesty and BCCLA had failed to show that irreparable harm would result without the injunction, since Canada had ceased transferring detainees to Afghanistan [JURIST report] in November and it was not clear when or if transfers would resume.

In January, the BCCLA released internal Canadian government documents [JURIST report] 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, describe 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. Canadian Press has more.

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