Canadian government defends intelligence extracted through torture

posted on October 11, 2005 | in Category Canada | PermaLink

Original author: Keith Jones
Source: World Socialist Web Site
URL: [link]
Date: September 22, 2005

The Canadian government told a public inquiry last week that barring Canadian security forces from acting on information obtained through torture would place Canadian lives at unwarranted risk.

Former and current high-level Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) officials have previously told the inquiry looking into Canadian government involvement in the ordeal of Maher Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian who was imprisoned and tortured in Syria with the complicity of US and Canadian authorities, that CSIS will use information it believes was obtained through torture. But it has concerns about torture-generated intelligence, since people frequently make false confessions to escape further abuse.

In its final brief to the Arar inquiry, the federal government mounted a vigorous defence of current CSIS practice, while arguing that the Canadian state bears no responsibility for the human rights abuses that Arar suffered.

"CSIS will take information from all sources," declared the federal brief. "If information it suspects has been obtained by torture can be independently corroborated and is important to an investigation of a threat to Canada, the information would be used."

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