Thursday, January 17, 2008

Depressingly honest

The Toronto Globe and Mail notes:

Canada puts Guantanamo on torture watch list
[The ministry of] Foreign Affairs has put Guantanamo Bay on a watch list for torture, despite Ottawa's assertions that it will not intervene with claims that Omar Khadr has been abused while in detention, CTV News reported last night.

Mr. Khadr, 21, has been held at Guantanamo Bay for more than five years as he awaits trial for the alleged killing of a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan.

His U.S. military lawyer, William Kuebler, says Ottawa's move to name the detention camp on the watch list - outlined in documents released as evidence in a court case - contradicts Prime Minister Stephen Harper's assurances of fair treatment for the Canadian man.

Two lawless governments -- one brutal, the other cowardly -- play out their roles.

UPDATE: January 19 -- Well, Canada didn't stick to its principles very long. Reuters reports:

Canada's foreign ministry, responding to pressure from close allies, said on Saturday it would remove the United States and Israel from a watch list of countries where prisoners risk being tortured.

Both nations expressed unhappiness after it emerged they had been listed in a document that formed part of a training course manual on torture awareness given to Canadian diplomats.

Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier said he regretted the embarrassment caused by the public disclosure of the manual, which also classified some U.S. interrogation techniques as torture.

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