Thursday, April 26, 2007

ICC asked to investigate Afghan detainee affair

On the Afghan detainee front, which I am following, we have this:

Two human-rights professors have asked the International Criminal Court in The Hague to open an investigation into what they claim are "possible war crimes" by Canadian Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor and General Rick Hillier, Chief of the Defence Staff, over Canada's transfer of detainees in Afghanistan.

Michael Byers of the University of British Columbia and William Schabas, director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway, make the allegations in a 14-page letter to the court's chief prosecutor in The Hague.

The professors allege that Mr. O'Connor and Gen. Hillier agreed to the transfer of prisoners to Afghan authorities "despite an apparent risk of torture and other forms of abuse" and have allowed the threats to continue by not renegotiating the agreement with Afghanistan on prisoner transfers.