Friday, December 11, 2009

Afghan detainees and the former Liberal government/Human rights Update

Further to this post,
Afghan detainees: Surely the Liberals showed contempt for international law...
a letter of mine in the Globe and Mail today (no idea how they arrived at their title):
Oh-oh, it's about trust

The Conservative government is being criticized mercilessly for not realizing in 2006 that detainees faced a risk of torture when transferred to Afghan authorities.

But surely the Liberal government that authorized the signing of the detainee transfer agreement in December, 2005, with the Afghan government must equally have known of that risk. It is highlighted in the U.S. State Department 2004 and 2003 reports on human rights in Afghanistan (the latest available in 2005), and in a similar 2004 report by Human Rights Watch. Why aren't the Liberals being asked what they knew and when they knew it?

Mark Collins
Selected as Norman Spector's LETTER OF THE DAY.

Update: As for another, very important side to human rights in Afstan, and why international forces are necessary, see this article:

Code Pink's misfire on Afghan women

Wazhma Frogh And Lauryn Oates [more here], For The Calgary Herald

In October, the women's antiwar organization, Code Pink, went to Afghanistan. The Christian Science Monitor reported that the pink T-shirted women were surprised to learn the overwhelming majority of women do not support a withdrawal of foreign troops from their country. Expecting their counterparts -- Afghan activists fighting for peace and gender equality -- to support their demands, they were confronted with the problem that perhaps their position has been counterproductive to the Afghan women's movement, or even wrong.

We hope this means Code Pink will rethink what we see as a damaging position out of sync with the peace building and development priorities voiced by ordinary Afghans. But why did it take Code Pink so long to ask Afghan women what they think?...


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