The Current

Documents reveal CSIS and RCMP's role in torture of 3 Canadians in Syria

Under great political and public pressure to identify potential terrorist suspects, RCMP emails newly obtained by CBC News indicate Canada's national police force knew what was in store for three Canadians who were tortured in Syria.
Abdullah Almalki (left to right), Muayyed Nureddin and Ahmad El Maati are shown in Ottawa on May 8, 2008. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

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In 2008, a closed-door judicial inquiry found that Canadian officials indirectly contributed to the torture of three Muslim-Canadians in Syria and Egypt.

Now CBC News has obtained a cache of 18,000 government documents revealing the RCMP and CSIS sanctioned the mistreatment of Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad El Maati, and Muayyed Nureddin — three Canadians who were arrested and tortured in Syria in the years after the 9/11 attacks.

"One time during the interrogation I saw that document ... They were not even trying to hide that the questions they were getting were from Canada," says Canadian torture victim Abdullah Almalki. 

All three Canadian torture victims are still waiting for government recognition and compensation.

Abdullah Almalki was at the top of CSIS's list of potential terror suspects following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

"All I can say is that if you have a dogmatic approach that the Canadian government and its agencies cannot share information with any country that has the merest sniff of mistreatment — and I'm not belittling that particular thing — then you wouldn't have an intelligence service," says Phil Gurski, a former CSIS intelligence officer who worked on the Almalki file.

CBC News reporter Terence McKenna shares the full story explaining what was found in the documents with The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti.

McKenna has prepared a three-part TV documentary, The Torture Files — a joint investigation by The National that starts tonight and the fifth estate this week.

The Current requested an interview on Friday, Sept. 16, with former RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli, who now works with Interpol. We have not yet received a response.     

This segment was produced by The Current's John Chipman.