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Canada allows spy agency to use information obtained through torture

Press TV

Canada has given the country’s spy agency permission to use information extracted from suspects through torture, despite claims that it would never use such data, Press TV reports.

Canada’s intelligence services, including the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), have recently been given an annual budget of about $400 million to use and share information extracted through the use of torture, despite the Canadian government saying it does not condone such acts.

Human rights activists condemned the move, arguing that Canada is propagating the use of torture.

“Whenever information obtained under torture is used by other people, whoever that may be – a police officer, a government agency, a journalist, anyone – then all that is doing is encouraging the torturers to continue to torture. It’s essentially creating a market,” said Robert Alexander Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International Canada.

In a directive, issued in December 2010, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service was given permission to employ such information in cases where it claimed ‘public safety is at stake’.

The move is part of a broader, so-called Five Eyes intelligent sharing network involving the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

“All that does is [to] deepen the concern that this is very clearly now deeply entrenched policy in Canada, that the government is prepared to allow security and policing agencies to make use of information that may have been obtained under torture and that raises very serious international human rights concerns,” said Neve.

This comes despite the fact that in 2009, Canada’s then-Public Safety Minister had pledged that the government would never use information obtained by torture.

The use of torture during confessions has been widely criticized by human rights groups that say the practice may cause people to lie or make false admissions.


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