News from the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)
RAWA News


 

 

 

Add RAWA RSS Feed to Feedreaders



 




 


RAWA Photo Gallery
From RAWA Photo Gallery
 


Help RAWA: Order from our wish list on Amazon.com

RAWA Channel on Youtube

Follow RAWA on Twitter

Join RAWA on Facebook


Reuters Canada, November 29, 2010

Canada slammed for Afghan child prisoner handover

Last year a Canadian diplomat said that as early as 2006, he had sent reports indicating the NDS was abusing detainees

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Opposition legislators blasted the Canadian government on Monday after it emerged that Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan captured children suspected of working with the Taliban and then handed them over to an Afghan security unit alleged to have abused prisoners.

Afghan children from behind a razor wire
Afghan children look from behind a razor wire at an outpost in Zhari district in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan November 20, 2010. (Photo: REUTERS/Peter Andrews)

The revelations are the latest blow to Canada's increasingly unpopular combat mission in southern Afghanistan, which is due to end next year.

The question of Afghan detainees -- and whether Canadian soldiers knew they might be abused -- has been one of the most difficult issues for the minority Conservative government since it took power in early 2006.

The Defense Department said some child detainees were handed over to Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS), stressing that no transfers would take place if Canadian officers felt there was any risk of torture.

Last year a Canadian diplomat said that as early as 2006, he had sent reports indicating the NDS was abusing detainees.

Opposition members of Parliament pressed the government in the House of Commons over what the soldiers had done.

"The Canadian government knew perfectly well that the NDS practiced torture. Why did Canada transfer child prisoners to the Afghan NDS torturers?" asked Thomas Mulcair, deputy leader of the left-leaning New Democrats.

"How many children were arrested? How many children were transferred? How many children were tortured?"

Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon did not directly answer the questions, while noting that Canada and Afghanistan had an agreement allowing Canadians to monitor prisoners.

A briefing document sent to Defense Minister Peter MacKay in March said Afghan authorities were now sending child prisoners to a separate juvenile rehabilitation center rather than housing them in an NDS-run prison in Kandahar.

A Defense Department spokeswoman said the Taliban were known to forcibly recruit those under 18 and train them to become fighters or suicide bombers.

"Should it be determined that a juvenile detainee poses a real and substantial risk to the Canadian Forces and our allies, they are transferred ... to the National Directorate of Security," she said.

Canadian commanders do not transfer prisoners if there is "a real risk that the detainee would be in danger of being subjected to torture", she added.

The briefing document for MacKay -- obtained by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp under access to information laws -- said some children had been in "Canadian Forces custody for a significant period". The exact amount of time, as well as the number of children, was deleted.

Canada has around 2,800 troops in the southern Kandahar region, and has so far lost 153 servicemen and women. Once the combat mission ends next year, about 950 soldiers will stay behind until 2014 to help train Afghan forces.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Rob Wilson)

Category: US-NATO, Children, HR Violations - Views: 5043


Related

24.11.2010: Charities criticise statement about safety of children in Aghanistan
21.10.2010: Plight of Afghan Child Workers
19.10.2010: Working instead of school, the boy mechanics of Kabul
26.09.2010: 20 % Increase in Birth Deformities in Afghanistan
27.08.2010: “Afghan children killed in NATO air strike”
24.07.2010: Seven children injured in Helmand airstrike
10.06.2010: Taliban execute seven-year-old Afghan boy accused of spying
10.06.2010: Rapists of a Child are Still Free After a Year
27.05.2010: Amnesty International Report 2010 Draws Bleak Picture of Human Rights in Afghanistan
07.05.2010: Opium-Addicted Children Pay Heavy Price for Afghan War
06.05.2010: The hypocrisy of child abuse in many Muslim countries
27.04.2010: 37 children die every hour in Afghanistan
19.03.2010: Afghan children face world’s worst conditions - U.N.
04.02.2010: For some kids in Kandahar city, labour is the only life they know
06.01.2010: 2009 deadliest year for Afghan children
21.12.2009: UN fights hunger in Afghanistan
20.11.2009: Afghanistan is world’s worst place to be born: U.N.
11.11.2009: UNICEF: More than half of Afghan children suffer from malnutrition
24.06.2009: Children carrying the burden of work in Afghanistan
07.06.2009: UNICEF: 24 Percent of Afghan Children Aged 7-14 are in Employment
30.05.2009: Amnesty International 2009 Human Rights Report on Afghanistan
21.04.2009: AFGHANISTAN: Five million children not in school
21.04.2009: Insurgency Averts 200,000 Afghan Kids from Schooling: UN
12.03.2009: 80pc kids in Ghor condemned to child labor: AIHRC
03.12.2008: AFGHANISTAN: UN calls for more action to protect children
20.11.2008: The workloads of Afghan children

Latest

Most Viewed

Comments