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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 February 2007, 19:51 GMT
Canada probes Afghan 'abuse' case
A Canadian soldier in Afghanistan (MoD file photo)
Some 2,500 Canadian soldiers are serving under Nato in Afghanistan
Canada is investigating allegations of detainee abuse by its soldiers in Afghanistan, after a complaint lodged by a University of Ottawa professor.

Amir Attaran, a law professor, asked the military complaints commission to investigate the alleged abuse of three Afghan men while in custody last April.

He alleges the men sustained injuries to the face, head and body.

The complaint is based on government documents obtained under Canada's Access to Information Act.

The law professor says the documents - hand-written reports from Canada's Department of National Defence - suggest three Afghan prisoners were abused while in Canadian custody.

The documents allegedly detail injuries to the three men, including lacerations.

'Very, very stingy'

Mr Attaran said he made the complaint that sparked the investigation when the government failed to give him any further information.

Map of Afghanistan
"The department of national defence has been very, very stingy about providing information. So I've requested an investigation by the military police complaints commission.

"That's how a citizen or a law professor like me can in essence dial 911 (Canada emergency phone number) and have an investigation done," Mr Attaran told the BBC.

The Canadian military acknowledges the detention of the three Afghans in a village about 50km (31 miles) west of Kandahar.

Initially, officials said that appropriate force was used, adding that one of the detainees was a bomb maker.

Some 2,500 Canadian soldiers are serving under Nato command in the region, where they have been fighting alongside British and US troops in missions against Taleban insurgents.


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