Monday, April 23, 2007

Resign now : Hillier and O'Connor

G&M : From Canadian custody into cruel hands
"Afghans detained by Canadian soldiers and sent to Kandahar's notorious jails say they were beaten, whipped, starved, frozen, choked and subjected to electric shocks during interrogation.
In 30 face-to-face interviews with men recently captured in Kandahar province, a Globe and Mail investigation has uncovered a litany of gruesome stories and a clear pattern of abuse by the Afghan authorities who work closely with Canadian troops, despite Canada's assurances that the rights of detainees are protected."

G&M : Calls for Defence Minister ouster over Afghani detainees
"Canada's opposition parties were demanding changes to the Afghanistan detainee transfer agreement and calling for the Defence Minister's resignation following accounts of gruesome torture of prisoners in Kandahar.
NDP Leader Jack Layton said the transfer of prisoners to Afghan authorities should stop immediately, a public inquiry be launched and Mr. O'Connor be sacked. He was backed up by all opposition parties."

UBC Int. Law Prof. Michael Byers : “If this report is accurate, Canadians have engaged in war crimes, not only individually but also as a matter of policy.”

OK, we've been playing at being the "good Germans" for well over a year now, in the face of all and any evidence from groups like the Afghan International Human Rights Commission, to whom we have entrusted the safety of detainees captured by our troops, and the Revolutionary Afghan Womens Association.
Is there any meaningful difference between U.S. and Canadian foreign policy as regards the rights of brown peoples?
Anybody feel up to doing a little "standing on guard for thee" today?

Make your voice heard - CBC, the Globe and Mail, your MP, your favourite Afghan war apologist.
Just do it right now. Because this absolutely will not stop until we make it stop.

Then go read Dana.


Anonymous said...

I liked your comment at TGB: What is it going to take for Canadians to get their anger up?

But I'm with Dana on this one I'm afraid. Plenty of anger in the comments under that second Globe article - nearly all of it pro-war, furious that this has gone national media now.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Alison. This particular episode of collaboration in torture we've known about for over a year, as you say, but think back all the way to 2001 -- remember a photo of Canadian troops leading some captured Afghans to be handed over to the Americans, who would transfer them to Gitmo (if they didn't succeed in killing them in the vile prisons they kept in Afghanistan)?

Another reason it's not good enough just to oppose the Conservatives and these particular war-mongering collaborators. The more polite ruling class party has been guilty of taking us into only slightly less egregious moral territory as well.

Again, as you say, what we need to do is break down the whole culture of lying rhetoric about what Canada has done in the world and face up to the ugly realities, without fear or favour.

Anonymous said...

Vivelecanada has a Globe & Mail article about Hillier insisting on signing the detainee agreement without consulting Foreign Affairs:
And just look at the departments of Defence and Foreign Affairs going at each other!

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