Canada Adds U.S. to List Of Nations That Torture

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

In Canada, the United States has joined a notorious group of countries -- Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Afghanistan and China, among others -- as a place where foreigners risk torture and abuse, according to a training manual for Canadian diplomats that was accidentally given this week to Amnesty International lawyers.

The manual is intended to create "greater awareness among consular officials to the possibility of Canadians detained abroad being tortured." Part of the workshop is devoted to teaching diplomats how to identify people who have been tortured. It features a section on "U.S. interrogation techniques," including forced nudity, hooding and isolation.

The 93-page PowerPoint document was inadvertently released to attorneys working on a lawsuit against the Canadian government; it was obtained by The Washington Post from an attorney for defendants at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The case of Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen who has been held at the U.S. military prison for more than five years, has generated attention across Canada.

The U.S. ambassador to Canada protested the mention, and the leak appears to have embarrassed Canadian officials.

"The document is a training manual. It is not a policy document or a statement of policy. As such it does not convey the government's views or positions," said Marina Wilson, spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa.

-- Robin Wright and Julie Tate


© 2008 The Washington Post Company

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