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Canada resumes Afghan detainee transfers after abuse probe

[JURIST] The Canadian military [DND/CF website] has resumed the transfer of Afghan detainees to Afghan authorities, Canadian military officials said Friday. The Canadian government ceased transferring Afghan detainees [JURIST report] to Afghan custody in November after Canadian monitors in Afghanistan discovered evidence of torture, but a military spokesman said Friday that both the Canadian military and officials in Kandahar believe conditions in Afghan prisons have significantly improved since the abuse allegations arose. It was not clear when the transfers resumed, but a military official said that each transfer was evaluated on a case-by-case basis. CBC News has more.

Earlier this month, Canadian Federal Court Justice Anne Mactavish refused to issue an interlocutory injunction [judgment, PDF; JURIST report] that would have prohibited the Canadian military from turning over detainees to Afghan authorities. Last fall, the Canadian Army said that independent investigators had found no evidence to support allegations [JURIST reports] that the Army "may have aided or abetted the torture of detainees" by transferring them from Canadian to Afghan custody. The transfer scandal erupted in April 2007 when the Toronto Globe and Mail reported [text] that more than 30 terrorism suspects had been tortured by Afghan investigators after being transferred from Canadian custody. Following public outcry, Canada signed a new agreement regarding detainee transfers [JURIST report] with the Afghan government, giving Canada the right to inspect detainees following their transfer.

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