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Richard Colvin sticks to his testimony on torture in Afghanistan

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The Canadian Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) finally held six-hour hearings of Richard Colvin’s testimony on 13 April 2010. The Conservative Party vainly attempted to ensnare him in the reserve inherent to his diplomatic status.

Posted in Kandahar for 18 months during 2006-07, Mr. Colvin confirmed the testimony he had provided to the Special Parliamentary Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan on 5 October 2009. According to him, all the prisoners turned over by the Canadian forces to the Afghan authorities were tortured by the latter. The transfer of prisoners to a third party, knowing that they will be exposed to torture constitutes a war crime within the purview of the Geneva Convention.

During his mission in Afghanistan, Richard Colvin had submitted 17 substantiated reports to his own structure in Ottawa, while taking the initiative to distribute up to 75 more copies to various officials at the Foreign Affairs Ministry as well as the Defense.

Mr. Colvin had already gained public notice during his assignment in Ramallah in the wake of Yasser Arafat’s death by alerting his superiors to the circumstances of Arafat’s poisoning and Fatah’s internal transformation. Richard Colvin currently serves as the First Secretary and Liaison Officer in the Intelligence division at the Canadian embassy to the United States of America.

The Commission is also aware of the reports by another Canadian diplomat, Chris Alexander, who is currently on secondment to the U.N. According to this top official, former Kandahar Governor Asadullah Khalil ordered the assassination of five U.N. employees and his private residence features an underground secret prison. Always according to Mr. Alexander, the majority of the attacks targeting foreigners are not attributable to the insurgents, but to the drug traffickers linked to the Afghan Government who have a vested interest in prolonging the insecurity.

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