I sent in an inquiry to the Red Cross earlier this week about donations to the organization via shortcode. The American Red Cross has one set up for cellular users on American mobile networks, however, as I learned, Canada did not have a similar option for the Canadian Red Cross. Until today.
Here is the email I received from a friend at the Canadian Red Cross. They tell me that donations via shortcode are now live today.
The Canadian Red Cross is pleased to now offer Canadians the convenient option of donating via text messaging. Donors interested in this option must simply text REDCROSS to 30333 and a one-time donation of $5 will be added to their mobile phone bill. The charge will be posted once the donor responds to a confirmation text. Text messaging donations are available in $5 increments.
Standard messaging rates and additional fees may apply to donation texts. All charges are billed by and payable to the mobile service provider. The service is available on most carriers. Donations are collected for the benefit of the Canadian Red Cross by the Mobile Giving Foundation and subject to the terms found at www.mobilegiving.ca. Donors can unsubscribe at any time by texting STOP to 30333.
So there you go. Text REDCROSS to 30333 to donate $5. Please pass this message along.
1. December 18th agreement for the transfer of Afghan detainees between Gen. Rick Hillier and Abdul Rahim Wardak, Afghanistan Minister of Defence.
2. Gosselin Affidavit
3. Buck Affidavit
2. Affidavit from Richard Colvin to the Military Police Complaints Commission signed October 5th, 2009.
3. Richard Colvin email (KANDH-0029) not available.
4. Richard Colvin email (KANDH-0032) not available.
5. Richard Colvin email (KANDH-0039) obtained by Amnesty International.
6. Richard Colvin email (KANDH0074) obtained by Amnesty International.
7. Richard Colvin email (KANDH0082) obtained by Amnesty International.
8. Richard Colvin email (KANDH0125) obtained by Amnesty International.
9. Richard Colvin email (KANDH0138) obtained by Amnesty International.
10. Richard Colvin email (KGBR0291) obtained by Amnesty International.
11. Testimony of Richard Colvin before the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan, November 18th 2009.
12. Testimonies of Gen. (Ret) Rick Hillier, L.Gen Michel Gauthier and M.Gen David Fraser before the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan, November 25th 2009.
13. Testimony of Ambassador David Mulroney before the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan, November 26th 2009.
– The Colvin email dates are redacted. At this time we do not know if the emails are dated prior to 2007 when abuses came to light.
– Canadian Forces don’t monitor Afghan prisons, CF relies upon civilian authorities to do this. Colvin’s emails went out on the C4 network. The military isn’t on the C4 network, from my understanding. Colvin asks C4 recipients to pass info up the military chain of command. Hillier asked why Colvin never raised concerns with him in person while he was there – was this a chain of command issue and not wanting to step outside his lane or something else?
– Some will argue that it was Graeme Smith’s reporting that “informed” Canadians of torture in Afghan prisons. This reporting isn’t official according to CF and would have been unproven at the time. Smith did have special perspective as he lived off base in downtown Kandahar.
– Did the Red Cross at any time tell the Canadian government that they were in a position to commit war crimes due to what the ICRC was observing in Afghan prisons where Canadian detainees were taken after 2007? This answer may already exist within the public realm but I haven’t seen it.
– The threshold of torture is quite uncomfortably put, another legitimate concern. While some abuses and conditions in Afghan prisoners may shock Canadians, Hillier suggested that a punch or a beating may sit on one side of the thin line as abuse, while electrocution, and fingernail ripping sits on the other as torture.
– The Buck affidavit explains Canada’s role in establishing human rights in Afghanistan while describing the difficulties of establishing a Canadian prison in a sovereign Afghanistan. War is not a perfect process nor a practice undertaken with clinical precision. Colvin and others have conflicting accounts of Canada’s efforts to do everything within reason to respond to reports of abuse.
– Torture is far too serious a screw up in counterinsurgency whether violence is more common in Afghan culture or not. Although it is relevant to recognize that this was Afghan on Afghan – sovereign nation in its own prisons on its own citizens. This of course, doesn’t make it right at all, but it doesn’t make it Canadians torturing Afghans.
– If you believe other documents may be useful to supplement this collection, please suggest them in the comments.
Lately, in the House of Commons, Defense Minister Gordon O’Connor has found himself facing attack from the opposition benches for something he assumed was true regarding reporting of the treatment of Afghan detainees by the Afghan government.
Minister O’Connor erroneously stated that the Canadian government would be updated as to the status of detainees by an overseeing body (the International Committee of the Red Cross) after transfer to the Afghani government.
OTTAWA – I would like to respond to the article in the Globe & Mail of March 8 entitled “Red Cross contradicts Ottawa on detainees”
At the outset, I would like to clarify one point. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has indeed carried out several visits to detainees in temporary Canadian custody in Kandahar. This is consistent with Canada’s commitment to cooperate with the ICRC in fulfilling its mandated responsibilities under international humanitarian law to monitor conditions of detention.
On December 18, 2005, the previous Liberal government signed an arrangement with the Government of Afghanistan regarding the transfer of detainees from the Canadian Forces to the Afghan authorities. As per this arrangement, we continue to transfer all persons detained by the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan to Afghan authorities, and to notify the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
The article makes reference to comments that I made in the House of Commons last May. It was my understanding that the ICRC could share information concerning detainee treatment with Canada. I have recently learned that they would in fact provide this information to the detaining nation, in this case Afghanistan. …
It appears that the Minister received some bad information.
The Liberals have seized upon the mistake in a press release issued on their website:
…Earlier this month Mr. O’Connor was forced to admit his assertions that the International Committee of the Red Cross would notify Canada of any mistreatment of prisoners in Afghan custody were false. The Red Cross is not required to notify Canada concerning the treatment of detainees transferred to Afghan prisons, and unlike Britain and the Netherlands, Canada has not retained the right to verify that transferred detainees receive proper treatment. …
The Liberals are piling on O’Connor for his mistaken impression. The Liberals, if they had been in power would not have made the same mistake, would they? Perhaps they would have ignored the assertions of departmental officials and bureaucrats regarding the ICRC and Afghan detainees.
Even after PW (prisoner of war) captured by Canada have been transferred to the custody of another nation, there is still a residual responsibility placed on Canada regarding their treatment. If the Government of Canada is notified by the Protecting Power, usually the ICRC, that the Detaining Power to whom the PW have been transferred is not complying with the provisions of the GCs (Geneva Conventions), Canada has a duty to correct the problem, or to take the PW back into Canadian custody.
It appears that the Minister may have received bad advice from the department officials and one should conclude that the error is not reflective of the competence of Minister O’Connor.
How long has this incorrect, official government document been floating through the system?
Since August 1st, 2004. This is long before O’Connor took over as Minister of Defense. In fact, a Liberal Defense Minister (Bill Graham) was operating under an erroneous policy since the time this document was drafted (perhaps earlier).
It would seem that the fault on this issue lies with department bureaucrats rather than our Conservative and Liberal Defense Ministers.
UPDATE: In case you may be wondering, the Joint Doctrine Manual cited above is, to this date, the CF authority on PW and detainee handling. Of course, it is now known to contain false information which may lead current and future Defense Ministers down the wrong path.