Friday, January 18, 2008

Canadian FM puts Israel, U.S. on torture watch list

"Canada's foreign ministry has put the United States and Israel on a watch list of countries where prisoners risk being tortured and also classifies some U.S. interrogation techniques as torture, according to a document obtained by Reuters on Thursday.

The revelation is likely to embarrass the minority Conservative government, which is a staunch ally of both the United States and Israel. Both nations denied they allowed torture in their jails.

The document - part of a training course on torture awareness given to diplomats - mistakenly provided the document to Amnesty International Canada as part of a court case the rights organization has launched against Ottawa over the treatment of detainees in Afghanistan.

Amnesty Secretary-General Alex Neve told Reuters his group had very clear evidence of abuse in U.S. and Israeli jails.

"It's therefore reassuring and refreshing to see that ... both of those countries have been listed and that foreign policy considerations didn't trump the human rights concern and keep them off the list," he said......"

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