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Last Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008, 01:24 GMT
Canada puts US on 'torture list'
Member of US military in cell block of Guantanamo Bay prison camp
The manual refers to Guantanamo Bay where a Canadian is being held
The United States has been listed as a country where prisoners are at risk of torture in a training document produced by the Canadian foreign ministry.

It also classifies some US interrogation techniques as torture.

The manual - part of a training course on torture awareness for diplomats - also includes Israel, China, Iran and Afghanistan on its watch list.

A government spokesman said the manual did not reflect the views of Canada, which is an ally of the US and Israel.

"The training manual is not a policy document and does not reflect the views or policies of this government," said a spokesman for Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier.

The manual lists US interrogation techniques such as forced nudity, isolation, sleep deprivation and the blindfolding of prisoners under "definition of torture".

It also refers to the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba where a Canadian man is being held. Critics say it ridicules Ottawa's claims that Omar Khadr is not being mistreated.

There was no immediate response from either the US or Israel.

Exonerated

The document was provided to Amnesty International as part of a court case it is bringing against the Canadian government over the treatment of detainees in Afghanistan.

Canada has come under growing criticism following allegations that detainees were tortured in Afghanistan after its soldiers transferred suspects to Afghan security forces.

Amnesty is calling for stopping all transfers of prisoners to the Afghan authorities.

The torture awareness course was introduced after Ottawa was strongly criticised for its handling of the case of a Canadian who was deported from the US to Syria in 2002.

Syrian-born Maher Arar - who was accused of being an al-Qaeda member - says he was tortured during his 10 months in a Damascus jail - a claim strongly denied by Syria.

A Canadian government inquiry exonerated Mr Arar of any links with terrorist groups. It also showed that Canadian diplomats had not had any formal training on how to detect whether detainees had been abused.



SEE ALSO
Water-boarding as torture - or not
11 Dec 07 |  Americas
US lawmakers' apology to Canadian
19 Oct 07 |  Americas
Canada signs Afghan detainee deal
04 May 07 |  South Asia

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