Canada bans military from sharing information that could lead to torture

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(Reuters) – Canada issued rules on Thursday barring its military, defence department and electronic spy agency from sharing information with other countries that could lead to torture, mirroring directives that it issued earlier to other agencies.

They replace 2011 rules put in place by the previous Conservative government that was ousted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in 2015.

Canada has been accused in the past of sharing intelligence that led to the torture of prisoners abroad.

Earlier this year, Canada apologised to three Canadian men of Arab descent who said they had been tortured in Syria, and blamed Canadian secret services for their ordeal.

The rules, issued by Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, prohibit the Department of National Defence, Canadian Armed Forces and Communications Security Establishment from disclosing or requesting information that could lead to mistreatment. The ban also applies to using information that was likely obtained through torture, except when necessary to prevent loss of life or significant injury.

The government issued the same directions in September to Canada’s spy agency, border agency and Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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