Monday, October 11, 2010


So, I'm cruising the website of the International Committee of the Red Cross - it's a weird hobby - and this obvious statement leaps out in the context of Canadian prisoner transfers in Afghanistan.

The ICRC speaks in private with detainees who are about to be transferred home or to a third country to give them the opportunity to raise any fears they may have regarding their treatment following the transfer. The ICRC conveys any such concerns to the detaining authorities and, depending on circumstances, may make recommendations as to how to proceed. This procedure aims to ensure compliance with the principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits a State from transferring people to another State or authority if there is a risk that they may be subjected to any kind of ill-treatment or arbitrary deprivation of life, or that they may face persecution on account of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. Irrespective of any ICRC involvement, it is the transferring authority which bears primary responsibility for ensuring that this rule is upheld and for implementing the necessary procedures.

[emphasis added]