Thursday, June 16, 2016

Military Police officers blowing the whistle on the handling of Afghan detainees by Canadian Forces

Brigadier-General Robert Delaney
Canadian Forces Provost Marshal
The French-speaking dailies La Presse, Le Devoir and CBC Television (French network) report on the publication of an open 4-page letter written by four serving military police officers denouncing the orders received from within their own chain of command which, allegedly, led to the orchestrated abuse of Afghan detainees between December 2010 and January 2011 in Kandahar.  The authors - who asked for anonymity - are particularly critical of BGen Robert Delaney, the Provost Marshal, who they urge to collaborate to the fullest extent possible with the Military Police Commission which is currently investigating these allegations of abuse.

They also allege that, at present, the Canadian Forces Corps of Military Police lacks the required independence to conduct any credible investigation, particularly of these allegations.

On June 15, 2016 this issue was raised during Question Period in Parliament with members of the Loyal Opposition clamouring for an external public inquiry.  The Defence Minister, the Honorable Harjit Sajjan, seems more than lukewarm to this idea suggesting instead that appropriate investigative mechanisms are available within the Department of National Defence to examine and inquire into these allegations. A most strange reaction particularly from a government that heralds openness, transparency and accountability as their primary currency since its landslide election last October.

Considering that the allegations, which were aired on national television, cast grave doubts about the very integrity of a quintessential institution - the Military Police - which is at the very core of the military justice system, it is absolutely essential that an external, credible, independent tribunal examine this issue and report its findings to the public. To do otherwise would give much weight to the proverb: "Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose!"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are subject to moderation and must be submitted under your real name. Anonymous comments will not be posted (even though the form seems to permit them).