UN Report Faults Canada on Torture Renditions

UN 'Concerned' by Canada's Reluctance to Protect Captured Citizens

A new report by the UN Committee Against Torture is blasting the Canadian government for its refusal to take seriously their complicity in the extraordinary renditions of Canadian citizens to third party countries for torture.

The report in particular urged Canada to resolve the outstanding issues surrounding the Iacobucci Inquiry. In this affair, three Canadian citizens were sent abroad to Egypt and Syria and tortured. Canadian officials falsely told the Egyptian and Syrian governments that the captives were “terrorist threats,” which the inquiry showed led to their torture.

Though Canada eventually apologized to Maher Arar, the first Canadian shipped abroad for torture, and paid him compensation, they have refused to do so with any of the Iacobucci three. The report expressed concern this showed a level of ambivalence about the fate of their wrongly accused citizens.

The committee also pressed Canada to hurry up with their resolution of the detention of Omar Khadr, a Toronto-born former child soldier who has been held in US military custody since he was 16. Khadr, now 25, was eventually forced to sign a plea deal which was supposed to see him transferred to a Canadian prison (and presumably released given the years of abuse he has suffered), but the Canadian government has never followed through on the matter.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.