OTTAWA — The Canadian government on Wednesday released 4,000 pages of top secret documents detailing Afghan prisoner transfers, holding them up as proof of no wrongdoing by Canadian soldiers.
The files were believed to contain evidence that Canada transferred prisoners to Afghan custody knowing they could be tortured, in violation of Canadian and international law.
“These documents clearly show that there are no credible allegations against the Canadian Armed Forces and at all times our forces acted in accordance with international law in their handling of Taliban prisoners,” Defense Minister Peter MacKay said.
Opposition parties had threatened to force an election last year over the government’s refusal, citing national security concerns, to produce the sensitive Afghan war documents.
But a deal was reached in June 2010 to have a committee of MPs review all of the documents to determine their relevance to the study of the transfer of Afghan detainees by a parliamentary committee on the Afghan conflict.
Any documents found to be relevant were to be referred to a panel of “expert arbiters” tasked with deciding how to make the information in the documents available to all MPs and to the public without compromising national security.
The opposition said it would take time to review the documents.