The complainant wrote to the Military Police Complaints Commission (the Commission) on various occasions requesting that the Commission expand the scope of its then ongoing public interest hearings regarding detainee transfers by the Canadian Forces (CF) to Afghan security forces to include an examination of CF detainee transfers in Afghanistan to U.S. forces. He requested answers to the following questions:
- How many people have Canadian Forces in Afghanistan turned over to their possible torture and possible death at the hands of U.S. authorities?
- Is anyone in Canadian Forces even keeping track of possible torture and death of such detainees at the hands of U.S. authorities, as required by Geneva Conventions?
The Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards (DPM PS) responded that his office would not take further action in this matter on the basis that there was
“no indication of alleged wrongdoing by military police personnel…” In response to the DPM PS’ assessment, the complainant submitted a request for review to the Commission.
While the Commission agreed with the complainant that the handling of detainees is a traditional responsibility of military police personnel, it is not exclusive to military police. The information available to the Commission suggests that, while CF personnel did transfer Afghan detainees in the period between 2002 and 2005, there was a very limited number of military police serving in-theatre in that period. The Commission takes allegations of that nature very seriously, as should be evident from the Commission’s public interest hearing into similar complaints by Amnesty International Canada and the BC Civil Liberties Association. However, the Commission has no mandate to act on allegations absent any indication of military police involvement, therefore lacked the authority to investigate the complaint further.
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