Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

December 21, 2009 19:42 ET

Investigations Into Alleged Mistreatment of Afghan Detainees in Canadian Forces Custody

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 21, 2009) - The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS), the investigative arm of the Canadian Forces Military Police, investigates all allegations of Afghan detainee mistreatment while in Canadian Forces (CF) custody. All of the completed investigations to date have determined that allegations of mistreatment of Afghan detainees by Canadian Forces (CF) members were unfounded and that CF members acted appropriately when interacting with the detainees.

The Military Police received allegations of mistreatment of Afghan detainees in CF custody in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. These allegations were investigated by the Military Police and a General Occurrence (GO) report was initiated for each investigation. Examples of the allegations received include complaints from detainees of having been forced to adopt a new religion, of not having been afforded the time to go to the washroom or the ability to perform ablutions for religious rituals.

The Military Police initiated one GO report in 2006 with respect to allegations of Afghan detainee mistreatment while in CF custody, and two in 2007. In all of these cases, it was determined that the allegations were unfounded.

Six GO reports were initiated in 2008 with respect to allegations of Afghan detainee mistreatment while in CF custody. In five of the six cases, it was determined that the allegations were unfounded, and one investigation is still ongoing. With respect to the ongoing investigation, CF members have been cleared regarding mistreatment of detainees; however the investigation is still examining other remaining allegations. As the investigation is ongoing, no further details are available at this time.

To date in 2009, three GO reports have been initiated with respect to allegations of detainee mistreatment while in CF custody. In all of these cases, it was determined that the allegations were unfounded.

One of the 2007 GO reports was initiated following a complaint to the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC). On October 3, 2008, the CFNIS publicly announced the findings of that investigation into the alleged abuse by CF members of three detainees in April 2006 in Afghanistan. The investigation into that incident determined that CF personnel applied reasonable force within the scope of their duties and acted in accordance with the Rules of Engagement, and that all three of the detainees were provided appropriate medical care throughout the entire period they were in the custody of the CF. A separate MPCC investigation and a separate Board of Inquiry supported those findings.

The Canadian Forces Military Police takes allegations of alleged detainee mistreatment and abuse seriously and investigates to determine the facts, analyze the evidence and, if warranted, lay appropriate charges.

The CFNIS is an independent Military Police unit with a mandate to investigate serious and sensitive matters in relation to National Defence property, DND employees and CF personnel serving in Canada and abroad.

For more information about the October 3, 2008 conclusion of investigation into alleged abuse of three detainees in April 2006 in Afghanistan, please go to http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/view-news-afficher-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=2786

For more information about the CFNIS, please go to http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/view-news-afficher-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=2824

For more information about the CFNIS Investigation Process, please go to http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/view-news-afficher-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=2960

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