The Canadian military is being criticized by a UN investigator for a lack of accountability for civilian deaths in Afghanistan, where more than 200 civilians have been killed by international military forces this year, a recent report suggests.Quote has been trimmed
The United Nation's special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, told CBC News that senior Canadian officers, among those from other NATO countries operating in Afghanistan, have refused to provide him with information about civilian casualties when asked.
"They said, 'We don't have the information; we can't give it to you. We promise you that we look at individual cases and we do it really very conscientiously.' Good, so give me the results. 'Well we don't have them,'" Alston said.
In May, Alston estimated more than 200 civilians had been killed by foreign forces during the first four months of the year, often in joint operations with Afghan security forces. He said secrecy and a dearth of public information regarding the casualties was jeopardizing support for the mission.
Alston said in May that many of the attacks did not appear to involve any intention to kill civilians and were considered lawful, occurring at night during surprise raids or when soldiers fired on wrongly suspected vehicles or passers-by.