Source: Afghan detainee mistreated in Canadian custody

ELIZABETH THOMPSON - Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 8:40 PM ET

OTTAWA — A new report has surfaced that suggests an Afghan detainee might have been mistreated while in Canadian Forces custody.

Global National reported Thursday night that a military police sergeant says not only was an Afghan detainee mistreated and kept for days in a tiny cell that reached intolerable temperatures, but that superiors ignored warnings.

In an interview with the Military Police Complaints Commission, Sgt. Carol Utton said an order in the spring of 2007 halted detainee transfers. One prisoner was still in custody, in a walled compound on the base with eight cells designed to hold prisoners no more than 96 hours.

Utton said the temperature reached 60 C in the cells. The soldiers tried to help him with bottles of frozen water, but the prisoner screamed and yelled.

However, Ottawa headquarters initially wouldn’t allow the prisoner to be released and ignored warnings about conditions in the cells, Utton said.

“We felt (Ottawa HQ) didn’t care,” Utton told the commission. “Nobody in Canada gave a crap.”

Defence Minister Peter MacKay’s office said the Global National report was the first they had heard of the incident and they’ve asked the defence department for more information.

elizabeth.thompson@sunmedia.ca


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