Afghan Prisoner Transfers - IRC informed late by Canadian Gov
According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada delayed telling the Red Cross about prisoner transfers to Afghan authorities. The Corporation has obtained military documents that details prisoner transfers between 2002 to 2006.
According to the documents approximately 35 prisoners were transferred and the notification to the International Red Cross was delayed.
It is standard practice within NATO to hand over Afghan prisoners to the Afghan government. Most other countries notified the IRC in Kabul. In Canada's case the notification was sent to to the IRC in Geneva, with the obvious bureaucratic delays before the information filtered down to the field office in Kabul.
The Liberal government in January 2002 waited waited nearly 3 1/2 months before notifying the Red Cross.
It is pretty obvious that the reporting procedure was wrong by not going directly to the Kabul office of the Red Cross, The delay in 2002 was probably more due to bureaucratic incompetence then a deliberate.
So far it has been revealed that Canada has, at least, on three occasions stopped prisoner transfers because of concerns of prisoner abuse.
Foreign Affairs and Corrections Canada has been engaged in monitoring prisoners and the Red Cross has been engaged. Even with those safeguards, Afghan authorities have denied access at times.
The Parliamentary Committee will continue hearings on Wednesday. It is expected that top military brass will testify. Retired General Rick Hillier said he is considering testifying in front of he committee. Major-General David Fraser, who commanded Canadian and ISAF troops in Kandahar and Lieutenant-General Gauthier are also expected to testify.
David Mulroney, now Canadian Ambassador to China, has stated that he wants to testify in front of the Committee.
Canadian officials delayed telling the Red Cross it had transferred prisoners to Afghan authorities, CBC News has learned, a situation that may have put detainees at greater risk of abuse.
Military documents obtained by CBC News detail the transfer of 35 detainees caught by Canadian troops in Afghanistan, beginning in 2002 and ending in April 2006.
In one case in January 2002, the then-Liberal government waited nearly 3½ months before notifying the International Red Cross it had transferred a detainee. In 2006, the length of time shortened to between four and eight days.