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Canada rights groups appeal Afghan detainee rights ruling

[JURIST] Human rights groups Tuesday filed an appeal [PDF text; press release] of a March Federal Court of Canada ruling [PDF text; JURIST report] that the protections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text] do not extend to Afghan detainees captured by Canadian soldiers. Amnesty International Canada and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association [advocacy websites] argued unsuccessfully that the Charter and international law obligate the Canadian government to prevent actual or foreseeable torture or ill treatment of prisoners under the complete control of Canadian forces and that the judgment "failed to accept the legal authority of the conclusions" of the United Nations Committee Against Torture and the United Nations Human Rights Committee [official websites].

In February 2007, the human rights organizations filed complaints [JURIST report] against the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal [official website] in Federal Court, alleging complicity in torture by Canadian personnel serving in Afghanistan as part of the NATO International Security Assistance Force. Amnesty alleged that Canada was violating its 1982 rights charter by turning Afghan detainees over to Afghan authorities without any protection against later cruel and unusual punishment. The Globe and Mail has more.

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