In a partial reversal of previous policy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has issued new directives that limit–but don’t totally forbid–Canadian security agencies from using information that was likely obtained through torture overseas.
Previous directives allosed international exchanges of information even when their was a risk of torture.
The policy was sharply criticized by human rights groups, who said the policy condoned torture.
The new directives prohibit the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security Intelligence Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency from requesting or disclosing information when doing do would result in a “substantial risk” of torture and could not be managed through assurances from a foreign government.
They also forbid the use of information likely obtained through any abuse that creates the possiblity of further mistreatment.
But critics, including many members of the opposition New Democratic Party, say the new directives leave the door open to using information obtained through torture to “prevent loss of life or significant personal injury.”
Amnesty International Canada said the new directives were a “significant improvement” but warned that loopholes left the possibility of “compllicity in abuses and the tacit promotion of torture at the hands of foreign officials.”
With files from Canadian Press, CBC, Postmedia, Global News