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Canada to investigate Afghan detainee abuse allegations

[JURIST] The government of Canada [JURIST news archive] ordered an official inquiry [press release] Tuesday into whether detainees in Afghanistan [JURIST news archives] were abused while in Canadian custody. The probe began following a civilian complaint filed by Amir Attaran [profile], a University of Ottawa law professor, whose research [Globe and Mail report] uncovered a pattern of suspicious injuries on three detainees captured last April and later released. Military police have also launched a search for the three Afghans.

Chief of the Defense Staff General Rick Hillier [official profile] and Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor [official profile] have already announced two separate probes [press release]. A third "public interest investigation" may also be launched. Canadian lawmakers made assurances that all findings will be made public and damaging information would not be concealed. Officials have denied all similarity to a situation where military investigators covered up instances of detainee abuse in Somalia [CBC backgrounder] more than ten years ago, a scandal that resulted in the disbanding of the elite Canadian Airborne Regiment [Wikipedia backgrounder]. Canada's Globe and Mail has local coverage.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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