The Canadian government has given the country's spy agency the green light to use information extracted from suspects through torture, despite earlier claims that it would never use such data.
In a directive, issued in December 2010, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service was given permission to employ such information in cases where, it claimed, ‘public safety is at stake,’ a Canadian news agency reported Tuesday.
This comes despite the fact that in 2009, Canada's then-Public Safety Minister had pledged that the government would never use information obtained by torture.
The directive says that the information would be used in cases where “human life or public safety” are at risk as in such "exceptional circumstances," it might be urgent that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) "share the most complete information available at the time with relevant authorities, including information based on intelligence provided by foreign agencies that may have been derived from the use of torture or mistreatment."
Although, according to the directive, the CSIS is not permitted to use torture on its own suspects, it can accept and use information from agencies that may have used torture to extract the data.
Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has claimed that ignoring such information is "an unacceptable risk to public safety."
"Therefore, in situations where a serious risk to public safety exists, and where lives may be at stake, I expect and thus direct CSIS to make the protection of life and property its overriding priority, and share the necessary information -- properly described and qualified -- with appropriate authorities," he said.