Friday, January 19, 2007

January 18, 2007, 9:20PM

Canadian foreign minister says document 'wrongly includes some of our closest allies'
Ronald Macintyre for the Toronto Star
Published: 19 January 2007

Canada's foreign ministry, responding to pressure from the United States, said on Saturday it would remove the United States and Israel from a watch list of countries where prisoners risk being tortured.

Both nations expressed unhappiness after it emerged that they had been listed in a document that formed part of a training course manual on torture awareness given to Canadian diplomats.

Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier said he regretted the embarrassment caused by the public disclosure of the manual, which also classified some US interrogation techniques as torture.

"It contains a list that wrongly includes some of our closest allies. I have directed that the manual be reviewed and rewritten," Bernier said in a statement.

The document - made available to Reuters and other media outlets - embarrassed the minority Conservative government, which is a staunch ally of both the United States and Israel.

Under "Definition of torture" the document lists US interrogation techniques such as forced nudity, isolation, sleep deprivation and blindfolding prisoners. It also mentions the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, where a Canadian man is being held.

Related Stories