Sunday, July 20, 2008

Brits no longer believe the US on torture

A British Foreign Affairs Select Committee has concluded that the British Government can no longer take the US claims that they do not torture prisoners at face value.
"Given the clear differences in definition (of torture), the UK can no longer rely on US assurances that it does not use torture, and we recommend that the government does not rely on such assurances in the future."

British territories have used for refueling US “rendition flights” taking prisoners to countries with no bans on torture.

The United Nations convention bars the return of individuals to states where they are at risk of being tortured and the UK has a "legal and moral obligation" to ensure no more of these flights land on British territory.

The committee has recommended that the government carry out an "exhaustive analysis of current US interrogation techniques" and should verify that Britain is not used by the US for future "rendition" flights.
The Brits have gone through this process over concerns of US flights landing in Diego Garcia an obscure British protectorate in the Indian ocean.

Meanwhile Harper’s government, who has already had one of it’s citizens, Maher Arrar, handed over to foreign country and tortured by the US, shows no concern about it’s legal and moral obligation in the case of Omar Khadr.
It seems obvious that a country either condones torture or it does not and you would think that under the UN convention, Canada should do everything in it’s power to protect it’s citizens and the citizens of other countries from the risk of being tortured.
The current US government condones torture and unfortunately Canada's current government, by it's refusal to repatriate Omar Khadr and by extraditing US war resisters, seems to also.

References BBC here.


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Beijing York said...

Don't forget the Canadian government's indifference to the fate of Afghans they capture and turn over to the US, Afghan puppets and/or warlords.

Just Another Willy Loman said...

Re: "the fate of Afghans they capture"

I agree with you, Beijing

Our government does have culpability there.

Unfortunately questioning that or even blogging about it becomes difficult without questions first being raised by our opposition parties or the MSM.

To me, the important point about Bernier's Afghan blunder wasn't that he went public about the Canadian desire to remove an Afghan governor, but why was Harper's government so adamant about his removal in the first place.

There was some vague mention of torture at the time, then everyone jumped on the PR blunder itself and the opportunity to raise the question was lost.