Canada removed Israel and the United States from a list of countries suspected of using torture.
Canadian Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier said Saturday that an internal government torture watch list naming Israel and the United States had been amended to omit them.
Bernier noted that Israel and the United States are among Canada’s “closest allies.”
The watch list, which had been compiled as part of training for Canadian diplomats, was accidentally leaked to the press. It mentioned methods known widely as “torture light” – sleep deprivation, forced nudity, isolation and blindfolding.
Human rights groups denounced Bernier’s turnabout, saying designation states which sanction torture should not depend on whether they are political allies.
Israel and the United States admit that their security services use vigorous interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists but deny this amounts to torture.