Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Maybe the Kiwis can find out about our prisoners

All arrests made by New Zealand's elite Special Air Service commandos are handled by a crisis response unit of the Afghan police that has been known to transfer prisoners to the directorate, New Zealand Defence Minister Wayne Mapp confirmed.

When asked if New Zealand might have handed over detainees who later were tortured, Mapp said, "We can't rule that out."

He said the information under review relates "to some years ago."

"It's a concern, which is precisely why I have been seeking reports," he told National Radio.

"New Zealanders want to be able to see, the Defence Force itself wants to be able to see, that we observe all principles of international law," Mapp said.

After the first New Zealand SAS deployment to Afghanistan in 2001, the Defence Force negotiated with the Red Cross to follow up on any prisoners New Zealand forces helped capture.

At the time, some 50 to 70 al-Qaida and Taliban terrorist suspects detained by New Zealand forces were transferred to U.S. and Canadian custody. New Zealand commandos expressed concern then that some of those detainees were not properly registered by their new custodians.
[emphasis added]
Associated Press, August 16, 2010