After the Conservative Harper government admitted that it had stopped transferring prisoners to Afghan authorities last November following evidence of torture, new evidence has surfaced showing that Canadian officials were aware of torture at least as far back as April, 2007. As with the earlier revelations, the new information came in the form of heavily censored documents produced in a court case where Amnesty International and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association are seeking a court order prohibiting such prisoner transfers.
The newly released information is of secret prison torture chambers operated by Kandahar Governor Asadullah Khalid, in which it is reported that he personally took part in torturing prisoners. While the Canadian government sent secret reports to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and the International Red Cross, Canada did not raise the issue of treatment of detainees till November, when the other torture case came to light.
The Governor is an important ally of Canadian forces in the area, making the whole affair particularly sensitive for the Harper government. Canadian General Rick Hillier responded to the controversy created by the new revelations by heaping praise on Khalid and commenting that any charges against him were for the Afghans to deal with.