Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

April 25, 2007 22:32 ET

Statement by the Minister of National Defence

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 25, 2007) - This week Canada's New Government stated that it would be asking its officials to follow up with their Afghan counterparts on the allegations in the media that detainees had been mistreated.

Today, during a meeting of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, the Minister of National Defence referred to action taken by Canadian officials on this matter and referenced a new arrangement that has been reached today.

The Minister explained to the committee that Canadian military officials have reached an arrangement with Afghan authorities that will enable access to Afghan detention facilities in Kandahar province by Canadian government officials.

"Military officials have made contact with the National Directorate of Security (NDS) regional director, General Quyaum, for security in Kandahar. He agreed to provide full access to detention facilities. Canadian government officials will establish continuous liaison with the prison authorities for the purpose of verifying the state of detainees," stated Minister O'Connor.

Minister O'Connor added, "I am pleased that Afghan officials have responded to our concerns regarding detainees".

This arrangement is a further example of Canada's New Government's commitment to build the capacity of the Afghan government.

Contact Information

  • Minister of National Defence
    Isabelle Bouchard
    Director of communications
    (613) 996-3100
    Minister of National Defence
    Information: (613) 996-2353/54
    After hours: (613) 792-2973