Information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act is disturbing.
Canadian Press has reported that the Canadian government has instructed that, "Under exceptional circumstances the RCMP or border agency may need to share the most complete information in its possession, including information foreign agencies likely obtained through torture."
It means that the Canadian government will accept as evidence information gained through torture.
This is in contravention of the Charter of Human Rights, and the Convention on Torture.
Article 6 of the Convention on Torture declares:
"Torture cannot be justified as a means to protect public safety or prevent emergencies."
The Convention further states, "Parties must also ban the use of evidence produced by torture in their courts (Article 15), and are barred from deporting, extraditing, or refouling people where there are substantial grounds for believing they will be tortured (Article 3)."
In 1945 the Canadian government, through Lester B. Pearson, helped create the concept of peacekeeping, and John Humphrey was the principal author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
On Aug. 23, 1985, Canada signed the ban on torture!
To accept evidence given under torture is supposedly for "our safety."
Evidence given under torture is not reliable, in any case. One probably would say anything, or give any name or accusation if it helped to escape the pain.
It would give a false sense of security to rely on evidence from torture!
How safe do you feel in a country where any suspect can accuse you under torture of anything to stop the barbaric treatment? Isn't this what only happens in suppressive dictatorships?
The Canadian government, with allowing evidence given under torture, is conveying the message that torture is acceptable and justifiable, and this will encourage further torture.
It is barbaric, medieval, against the law, against our commitment to the UN resolutions which any decent and humane country upholds. It is wrong!
Bad things do not only happen because of bad people, but also because of good people standing by to let it happen.
Please do no let our country go down the slippery slope of condoning torture in whatever form or shape.
Maria Raynolds, Maple Ridge